January 21, 2022

Data: “Social Media and News Sources During the 2017 UK General Election”

A new “data memo” from the Project on Computational Propaganda at the University of Oxford.


Social Media and News Sources During the 2017 UK General Election


Monica Kaminska
Oxford University

John D. Gallacher
Oxford University

Bence Kollanyi
Oxford University

Taha Yasseri
Oxford University

Philip N. Howard
Oxford University


Project on Computational Propaganda, University of Oxford
June 5, 2017


Platforms like Twitter and sources like Wikipedia are important parts of the information diet for many citizens. In this data memo, we analyse Twitter data on bot activity and junk news for a week in the final stages of campaigning of the 2017 UK General Election and also present data on Wikipedia page consultations about those parties and leaders. (1) Content about the Labour Party strongly dominated Twitter traffic in this period. (2) Social media users in the UK shared five links to professional news and information for every one link to junk news. (3) Wikipedia queries have transitioned being mostly about the Conservative Party and Prime Minister Theresa May to being mostly about the Labour Party and the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. (4) In comparison to the first week of the campaign period, we find that users are sharing slightly better quality news content, that automated accounts are generating more traffic about the election, and that more of the automation uses Labour-related hashtags (though may not be from the Labour Party itself). (5) In comparison to trends in other countries, we find that UK users shared better quality information than that which many US users shared during the 2016 US election, but worse quality news and information than was shared during the French 2017 election.

Direct to Full Text Data Memo (7 pages; PDF)

More New Research

Junk News and Bots During the 2017 UK General Election: What Are UK Voters Sharing Over Twitter? (via Project on Computational Propaganda, Oxford University)
May 31, 2017.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.