Political twitter

Seminar on microcelebrities' online political engagement

New PREPARE postdoctoral researcher Özlem Demirkol Tønnesen explains turkish political twitter.

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Lene Angelskår

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One June 9th, PREPARE's newest team member Özlem Demirkol Tønnesen held a seminar on how turkish microcelebrities navigated visibility and surveillance on twitter in connection with the 2028 elections.

The talk was based on Demirkol Tønnesen's ph.d project. Her project was formed as an intervention to the growing interest microcelebrities have received in academic research for their ability to guide their audiences towards products and lifestyles they promote, while the similar effects they may produce when sharing political opinions, viewpoints and behaviors are neglected.

Drawing from her analysis of tweets by 97 microcelebrity accounts in the months leading up to the 2018 Turkish elections, Demirkol Tønnesen discussed how these accounts consider sharing political opinions and news as a duty despite apparent risks. They express their thoughts through a narration of everyday life and daily events by formulating a language that is understood by subgroups who are acclimated to the platform culture. 

The talk was given at MediaFutures, a Centre for Research-based Innovation hosted by the University of Bergen. Among the audience were participants from MediaFutures and the Department of Information and Media Science, who all contributed to a lively discussion about microcelebrities, political engagement and the importance of political setting and risk.