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Digital monitoring of societal discussions in Online Social Networks

Presenter 1
Timo Wandhoefer
GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Presenter 2
Peter Mutschke
GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Presenter 3
Mark Thamm
GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Presenter 4
York Sure
GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Online Social Networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are increasingly used as platforms for discussing societal issues with a broad online community. The challenge now is to handle the “flood of information” in Online Social Networks such that citizens’ opinions will be heard by stakeholders. The society’s need of “closing the loop” between stakeholder and society is the aim of the European Commission founded project WeGov (“Where eGovernment meets the eSociety”). The goal of the project is to develop a software toolkit that allows stakeholders to get in a two-way dialog with citizens in Online Social Networks. The paper presents use cases for detecting, tracking, mining and monitoring opinions on societal topics that take place in online communities. Furthermore, it is discussed how those techniques of digital monitoring could be enhanced by Social Science data services, such as online surveys allowing a stakeholder to get the citizens’ opinion on a special topic, or search services that may enrich discussions by research data, literature and experts retrieved from Social Science databases.

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