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Political Use of Twitter The Case of Metropolitan Mayor Candidates in 2014 Local Elections in Turkey

Yavuz, Nilay
Twitter, as a free and 140-character microblogging service, is used for many purposes, including political and administrative perspectives. While administrative use is mainly motivated by citizens-administrators interaction, including politically elected, political use is highly visible during election times, not necessarily confined to these times. In this study we focus on a 3-month period twitter use by mayoral candidates in Turkey, particularly at metropolitan cities starting from the first of January till end of the March 30, 2014 when local elections were held. Tweets are categorized as of six types (i.e. information and news sharing, location and activity sharing, personal messages, direct interaction with citizens, better public services, support mobilization) derived from literature. We aim to show, at local scales, how and for which purposes twitter is used at local elections other than that of political campaign. Our results reveal that candidates for metropolitan mayors use twitter for mainly location and activity sharing during elections times as expected. What is unexpected for the study results are tweets sent for better public services as the second most tweeted category.