Social Media as an Identity Barometer: Evidence From the Russia-Ukraine War
5 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2024
Date Written: January 30, 2024
This study investigates how social media data can be used to study shifts in identity, focusing on Ukraine during the Russia-Ukraine war. We analyze VK users' reported language proficiency and the language of tweets and note a significant shift from Russian to Ukrainian during both the early (2014-2022) and later (2022-) phases of the war. Additionally, we observe a positive association at the province level between these language changes and shifts in ethnic identity reported in nationally representative surveys. The findings underscore the effectiveness of social media data in tracking and quantifying shifts in identity.
Keywords: identity, social media, conflict, Russia-Ukraine war
JEL Classification: P00, D74, F51, F52, H56
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