AAAI Publications, Fifth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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The Prevalence of Political Discourse in Non-Political Blogs
Sean A. Munson, Paul Resnick

Last modified: 2011-07-05

Abstract


Though political theorists have emphasized the importance of political discussion in non-political spaces, past study of online political discussion has focused on primarily political websites. Using a random sample from Blogger.com, we find that 25% of all political posts are from blogs that post about politics less than 20% of the time, because the vast majority of blogs post about politics some of the time but infrequently. Far from being taboo topics in those non- political blogs, political posts got slightly more comments than non-political posts in those same blogs, and the comments overwhelmingly engage the political topics of the post, mostly agreeing but frequently disagreeing as well. We argue that non-political spaces devoted primarily to personal diaries, hobbies, and other topics represent a substantial place of online political discussion and should be a site for further study.

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