News via Voldemort: The role of parody and satire in topical discussions on Twitter

Tim Highfield

Abstract


This paper evaluates the role of parody accounts on Twitter within the ongoing coverage of breaking news and mediated events. These accounts, which are established components of social media, are recurring contributors to topical discussions, from politics to live broadcasts of sports and popular entertainment, yet their presence within large Twitter datasets is often treated as an aside within the wider analysis of such archives. This paper then analyses the contributions of parody accounts - alongside other satirical tweets - across multiple contexts, drawing on various political and cultural Twitter datasets collected between 2011 and 2013, to examine the extent to which such accounts are central, or disconnected, to the wider discussions at hand.

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