Ehteshami, L. (2018). Comparing modern Twitter campaigns to traditional campaigning: A comparison of the frames and tones of the 2016 and 1975 UK referendums. The Young Researcher, 2 (1), 38-51.
Twitter has become one of the most popular platforms for political campaigning, and its use in the 2016 UK European Union Referendum was especially notable. The study examines whether this new shift to campaigning on Twitter has changed how politicians campaign in referendums overall. The study uses semantic analysis to compare the tones and frames utilized by the three main campaigns in the 2016 UK European Union Referendum – Stronger In, Vote Leave, and Leave.EU – to the tones and frames utilized by the two campaigns in the 1975 UK European Communities referendum – Yes and No. Overall, the findings show that Twitter has helped shift campaigns towards a more negative tone and has completely switched campaigns to a strategic frame. This implies that Twitter has been heavily used to mobilize supporters and update existing followers on campaign events in the UK.
Keywords: campaigning, Brexit, frame, tone, Twitter, voter mobilization