European Twitter Networks: Toward a Transnational European Public Sphere?
In this article, I explore whether and to what degree the discussion of European issues on Twitter remain within nationally bounded communication spaces or whether such a discussion transcends borders and becomes transnationally European. This article explores the interactions formed around Twitter issue publics of European relevance (Schengen and TTIP), with their geographic locations. Out-degree metrics of the interactions conducted (retweets and mentions) under both #schengen and #ttip hashtags are applied. A network of 28 nodes—one for each of the 28 members of the European Union—has been created. In each node, Twitter data collected from each hashtag is embedded, forming six different weighted networks—one for each hashtag—and all six, with the same number of nodes. The networks contain replies, retweets, or quotes of other tweets in the data set (for which location data is available). This article shows with conclusive, empirical evidence, that there is indeed a transnational European public sphere to a certain degree, at least with respect to these topics analyze.