Austria,European Union,General

Panel discussion about social media monitoring in Austria

21 Oct , 2019  

Vienna, 21 October 2019

What is the impact of social media on civil society at large, and elections in particular? Should we monitor this, and if yes, how?

Vienna Data Science Group VDSG‘s data4good initiative, and, organised a panel discussion at Impact Hub in Vienna on Monday, 21 October 2019. Besides Rania Wazir from VDSG  and Armin Rabitsch from, Maximilian Schubert of Internet Service Provider Association (ISPA) and Martina Chichi of Amnesty International Italy, explored the role of social media in elections together, under the expert moderation of Karin Huber-Heim.

The presentations and lively discussion evolved around the following questions:

  • What role did social media play in the election campaign for the 2019 National Council election?
  • How can researchers or observers access data of the online political campaigns on Facebook and Twitter?
  • What is the responsibility of social media platforms?
  • How much money was invested in social media campaigning?

For the Austrian parliamentary elections held on 29 September 2019,  teamed up with data4good to monitor the public social media profiles of the political candidates, leading influencers, and the major Austrian Press. Public Twitter and Facebook profiles were monitored from 8 September until 4 October. During this period, over 26,000 politicians’ posts, and 1.1 million generic user comments were collected.

The database and results of the ongoing statistical and topic analysis of the data can be found here.

Together with the Departament of Public Policy Analysis of the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV DAPP) from Brasil monitored youtube channels covering political content during the month of September.

A final report including detailed findings and recommendations will be published. The project has been supported by Democracy Reporting International (DRI) and MEMO98.

Presentation of first results of the social media monitoring Austrian elections 2019

Coverage by ORF Ö1 Morning Journal at 8.00 hours on 22 October 2019