The argument is twofold. One, the character of political communication on Twitter is sufficiently different from the general character of the Twitter stream, from the “firehose”, as it is known that political communication should be considered as a separable domain of communication. Specifically, retweets, urls, and hashtags are used far more frequently in political communication than is true for the full stream of messages and that reflects communication which is more interactive than is generally the case. Two, context is needed for characterizing twitter streams. In the case of political communication there are parameters on the use of these tools, which facilitate interactive communication that sets such a context. If most political tweets have retweets or urls between some low bound and a high bound, then one has a way to characterize any specific stream that is being investigated. The analyses will begin the investigation of these parameters.
Cite this paper
Boynton, G. , Cook, J. , Daniels, K. , Dawkins, M. , Kopish, J. , Makar, M. , McDavid, W. , Murphy, M. , Osmundson, J. , Steenblock, T. , Sudarmawan, A. , Wiese, P. and Zora, A. (2014) The Political Domain Goes to Twitter: Hashtags, Retweets and URLs. Open Journal of Political Science
, 8-15. doi: 10.4236/ojps.2014.41002
 Anstead, N., & O’Loughlin, B. (2011). Emerging viewertariat: Explaining twitter responses to Nick Griffin’s appearancd on BBC Question Time. The International Journal of Press/Politics, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
 Bennett, S. (2013). Twitter was the fastest-growing social network in 2012, Says Study, All Twitter.
 Boyd, D., Golder, S., & Lotan, G. (2010). Tweet, tweet, retweet: Conversational aspects of retweeting on Twitter. 2010 43rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii, 1-10.
 Brookings (2013) The “Town Square” in the social media era: A conversation with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.
 Bruns, A., & Stieglitz, S. (2014) Quantitative approaches to comparing communication patterns on Twitter. In K. Bredl, J. Hünniger, & J. L. Jensen, (Eds.) Methods for analyzing social media. Abingdon: Routledge, 22-44.
 Buck, St. (2011). A visual history of Twitter. Mashable.
 Cashmore, P. (2009). Twitter launches verified accounts. Mashable.
 Evans, M. (2010). Replies and retweets on Twitter. Sysomos Blog.
 Moscaritolo, A. (2013). Twitter celebrtes 7th birthday with a look back. www.PCmag.com
 Helmond, A. (2013). On retweet analysis and a short history of retweets. New Media Research Blog.
 Leetaru, K. H., Wang, S. W., Cao, G. F., Padmanabhan, A., & Shook, E. (2013). Mapping the global Twitter heartbeat: The geography of Twitter. First Monday, 18.
 Parr, B. (2010). Twitter hits 50 million tweets per day. Mashable.
 Pew Research Center (ongoing report). Social networking use.
 Singh, V. (2009). Some stats about Twitter’s content. Vik’s Blog.
 Stadd, A. (2012). A short history of the hashtag, all Twitter.
 Stone, Biz (2009) Project retweet: Phase one. Twitter Blog.
 Tumasjan, A., Sprenger, T. O., Sandner, P. G., & Welpe, I. M. (2010). Predicting elections with Twitter: What 140 characters reveal about political sentiment. Proceedings of the Fourth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, Washington DC. http://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/ICWSM/ICWSM10/paper/view/1441
 Twitter Blog (2012). Follow the state of the union on Twitter.