Using algorithms to identify social activism and climate skepticism in user-generated content on Twitter



Palabras clave:

Climate change, Climate skeptics, Skepticism, Climate communication, Linguistic corpus, Algorithms, Social networks, Activisms, Indicators, Social media, Behavior patterns, Opinions, Politics, Polarization, Twitter


Climate change has become an issue of great relevance in society in recent years, and the data provided by the scientific community recommend acting as soon as possible and forcefully. Scientists, politicians, the media, and thanks to the new media, citizens and other social agents participate in the debate on this issue. Despite the data and general consensus in the scientific community, the climate change debate is highly polarized, with skeptical voices denying or questioning climate change and using social media to amplify the reach of their message. This can encourage misinformation and polarization. This study tries to identify the key indicators of social skepticism around climate change through the analysis of users´ social activism and behavioral patterns on Twitter. We analyze keywords, frequency, topics, and categories from a sample of 78,168 tweets. The results show, first, that there is an overlap of topics, with 24 of the 28 topics grouped in the intertopic distance map; second, that the size of the topics is relatively small and linked to specific events; and, third, that there is a significant political presence, especially from the United States. This work therefore contributes to the analysis of communication on Twitter about opinions against climate change.


Los datos de descargas todavía no están disponibles.


Al-Nakeeb, Ohood A. M. S.; Mufleh, Basher A. H. (2018). "Collocations and collocational networks of characters: A corpus-based feminist stylistic analysis". Language in India, v. 18, n. 9.

Alalwan, Ali A.; Rana, Nripendra P.; Dwivedi, Yogesh K.; Algharabat, Raed (2017). "Social media in marketing: A review and analysis of the existing literature". Telematics and informatics, v. 34, n. 7, pp. 1177-1190.

Anderson, Ashley A.; Huntington, Heidi E. (2017). "Social media, science, and attack discourse: How Twitter discussions of climate change use sarcasm and incivility". Science communication, v. 39, n. 5, pp. 598-620.

Arora, Anuja; Bansal, Shivam; Kandpal, Chandrashekhar; Aswani, Reema; Dwivedi, Yogesh K. (2019). "Measuring social media influencer index-insights from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram". Journal of retailing and consumer services, v. 49, pp. 86-101.

Aswani, Reema; Kar, Arpan K.; Ilavarasan, P. Vigneswara; Dwivedi, Yogesh (2018). "Search engine marketing is not all gold: Insights from Twitter and SEOClerks". International journal of information management, v. 38, n. 1, pp. 107-116.

Baker, Paul; Gabrielatos, Costas; Khosravinik, Majid; Krzyżanowski, Michal; McEnery, Tony; Wodak, Ruth (2008). "A useful methodological synergy? Combining critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics to examine discourses of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK press". Discourse and society, v. 19, n. 3, pp. 273-306.

Blasco-Arcas, Lorena; Lee, Hsin-Hsuan M.; Kastanakis, Minas N.; Alcañiz, Mariano; Reyes-Menéndez, Ana (2022). "The role of consumer data in marketing: A research agenda". Journal of business research, v. 146, pp. 436-452.

Blei, David M.; Ng, Andrew Y.; Jordan, Michael I. (2003). "Latent Dirichlet allocation". Journal or machine learning research, n. 3, pp. 993-1022.

Bolsen, Toby; Shapiro, Mathew A. (2018). "The US news media, polarization on climate change, and pathways to effective communication". Environmental communication: A journal of nature and culture, v. 12, n. 2, pp. 149-163.

Bouma, Gerlof (2009). "Normalized (pointwise) mutual information in collocation extraction". Proceedings of GSCL, pp. 31-40.

Capstick, Stuart B.; Pidgeon, Nicholas F. (2014). "What is climate change scepticism? Examination of the concept using a mixed methods study of the UK public". Global environmental change, v. 24, pp. 389-401.

Capstick, Stuart B.; Whitmarsh, Lorraine; Poortinga, Wouter; Pidgeon, Nicholas F.; Upham, Paul (2015). "International trends in public perceptions of climate change over the past quarter century". Wiley interdisciplinary reviews: Climate change, v. 6, n. 1, pp. 35-61.

Carew, Joanne (2014). "Online environmental activism in South Africa: A case study of the #iam4rhinos Twitter campaign". Global media journal: African edition, v. 8, n. 2, pp. 207-230.

Corner, Adam; Markowitz, Ezra; Pidgeon, Nicholas F. (2014). "Public engagement with climate change: the role of human values". Wiley interdisciplinary reviews: climate change, v. 5, n. 3, pp. 411-422.

Dahlberg, Lincoln (2001). "The internet and democratic discourse: exploring the prospects of online deliberative forums extending the public sphere". Information, communication & society, v. 4, n. 4, pp. 615-633.

Drakett, Jessica; Rickett, Bridgette; Day, Katy; Milnes, Kate (2018). "Old jokes, new media - Online sexism and constructions of gender in Internet memes". Feminism and psychology, v. 28, n. 1, pp. 109-127.

Dubrofsky, Rachel E.; Wood, Megan M. (2014). "Posting racism and sexism: authenticity, agency and self-reflexivity in social media". Communication and critical/cultural studies, v. 11, n. 3, pp. 282-287.

Dunlap, Riley E.; McCright, Aaron M. (2011). "Climate change denial". In: Lever-Tracy, Constance (ed.). Routledge handbook of climate change and society. Routledge, pp. 144-160. ISBN: 978 0 203876213

Dwivedi, Yogest K.; Kapoor, Kawaljeet K.; Chen, Hsin (2015). "Social media marketing and advertising". The marketing review, v. 15, n. 3, pp. 289-309.

Eide, Elisabeth; Kunelius, Risto (2021). "Voices of a generation the communicative power of youth activism". Climatic change, v. 169, n. 6.

Elgesem, Dag; Steskal, Lubos; Diakopoulos, Nicholas (2015). "Structure and content of the discourse on climate change in the blogosphere: the big picture". Environmental communication, v. 9, n. 2 pp. 169-188.

Engels, Anita; Hí¼ther, Otto; Schí¤fer, Mike; Held, Hermann (2013). "Public climate-change skepticism, energy preferences and political participation". Global environmental change, v. 23, n. 5, pp. 1018-1027.

Fujita, Momoko; Harrigan, Paul; Soutar, Geoffrey N. (2018). "Capturing and co-creating student experiences in social media: a social identity theory perspective". Journal of marketing theory and practice, v. 26, n. 1-2, pp. 55-71.

Grover, Purva; Kar, Arpan K.; Dwivedi, Yogesh K.; Janssen, Marijn (2019). "Polarization and acculturation in US election 2016 outcomes. Can Twitter analytics predict changes in voting preferences?". Technological forecasting and social change, v. 145, pp. 438-460.

Grundmann, Reiner (2013). ""˜Climategate´ and the scientific ethos". Science, technology & human values, v. 38, n. 1, pp. 67-93.

Hagen, Bjoern; Middel, Ariane; Pijawka, David (2016). "European climate change perceptions: public support for mitigation and adaptation policies". Environmental policy and governance, v. 26, n. 3, pp. 170-183.

Hardaker, Claire; McGlashan, Mark (2016). "Real men don´t hate women: Twitter rape threats and group identity". Journal of pragmatics, n. 91, pp. 80-93.

HerdaÄždelen, Amaí§; Zuo, Wenyun; Gard"Murray, Alexander; Bar"Yam, Yaneer (2013). "An exploration of social identity: the geography and politics of news-sharing communities in Twitter". Complexity, v. 19, n. 2, pp. 10-20.

Hoggan, James; Littlemore, Richard (2009). Climate cover-up: the crusade to deny global warming. Greystone Books Ltd. ISBN: 1553654854

Iyengar, Shanto; Sood, Gaurav; Lelkes, Yphtach (2012). "Affect, not ideology: a social identity perspective on polarization". Public opinion quarterly, v. 76, n. 3, pp. 405-431.

Jenkins, Richard (2014). Social identity. New York: Routledge. ISBN: 978 0 415448499

Jia, Susan S. (2018). "Leisure motivation and satisfaction: a text mining of yoga centres, yoga consumers, and their interactions". Sustainability, v. 10, n. 12, 4458.

Kahan, Dan M.; Peters, Ellen; Wittlin, Maggie; Slovic, Paul; Ouellette, Lisa-Larrimore; Braman, Donald; Mandel, Gre­gory (2012). "The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks". Nature climate change, v. 2, n. 10, pp. 732-735.

Kaiser, Jonas; Rhomberg, Markus (2016). "Questioning the doubt: Climate skepticism in German newspaper reporting on COP17". Environmental communication, v. 10, n. 5, pp. 556-574.

Kapoor, Kawaljeet-Kaur; Tamilmani, Kuttimani; Rana, Nripendra P.; Patil, Pushp; Dwivedi, Yogesh; Nerur, Sridahr (2018). "Advances in social media research: past, present and future". Information systems frontiers, v. 20, n. 3, pp. 531-558.

Karami, Amir; Shah, Vishal; Vaezi, Reza; Bansal, Amit (2020). "Twitter speaks: a case of national disaster situational awareness". Journal of information science, v. 46, n. 3, pp. 313-324.

Kastanakis, Minas N.; Balabanis, George (2012). "Between the mass and the class: Antecedents of the "˜bandwagon´ luxury consumption behavior". Journal of business research, v. 65, n. 10, pp. 1399-1407.

Kirilenko, Andrei P.; Stepchenkova, Svetlana O. (2014). "Public microblogging on climate change: One year of Twitter worldwide". Global environmental change, v. 26, pp. 171-182.

Lahsen, Myanna (2013). "Anatomy of dissent: a cultural analysis of climate skepticism". American behavioral scientist, v. 57, n. 6, pp. 732-753.

Lakoff, Robin T. (2004). Language and woman´s place: text and commentaries. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN: 0195167570

Li, Manyu; Turki, Nadia; Izaguirre, Casandra R.; DeMahy, Chloe; Thibodeaux, Brooklyn L.; Gage, Taylor (2021). "Twitter as a tool for social movement: an analysis of feminist activism on social media communities". Journal of community psychology, v. 49, n. 3, pp. 854-868.

Matthews, Paul (2015). "Why are people skeptical about climate change? Some insights from blog comments". Environmental communication, v. 9, n. 2, pp. 153-168.

McCright, Aaron M.; Dunlap, Riley E. (2003). "Defeating Kyoto: the conservative movement´s impact on U.S. climate change policy". Social problems, v. 50, n. 3, pp. 348-373.

McEnery, Tony; Hardie, Andrew (2013). "The history of corpus linguistics". In: Allan, Keith (ed.) The Oxford handbook of the history of linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 727-745. ISBN: 978 0 191750434

Moernaut, Renée; Mast, Jelle; Temmerman, Martina; Broersma, Marcel (2022). "Hot weather, hot topic. Polarization and skeptical framing in the climate debate on Twitter". Information, communication & society, v. 25, n. 8, pp. 1047-1066.

Monfort, Abel; Villagra, Nuria; López-Vázquez, Belén (2019). "Exploring stakeholders´ dialogue and corporate social responsibility (CSR) on Twitter". Profesional de la información, v. 28, n. 5.

Muralidharan, Sidharth; Rasmussen, Leslie; Patterson, Daniel; Shin, Jae-Hwa (2011). "Hope for Haiti: an analysis of Facebook and Twitter usage during the earthquake relief efforts". Public relations review, v. 37, n. 2, pp. 175-177.

Newman, Tood P. (2017). "Tracking the release of IPCC AR5 on Twitter: users, comments, and sources following the release of the working group. Summary for policymakers". Public understanding of science, v. 26, n. 7, pp. 815-825.

Ntontis, Evangelos; Drury, John; Amlí´t, Richard; Rubin, G. James; Williams, Richard (2018). "Emergent social identities in a flood: implications for community psychosocial resilience". Journal of community and applied social psychology, v. 28, n. 1, pp. 3-14.

Olesen, Thomas (2022). "Greta Thunberg´s iconicity: performance and co-performance in the social media ecology". New media & society, v. 24, n. 6, pp. 1325-1342.

O´Neill, Safron; Williams, Hywel T. P.; Kurz, Tim; Wiersma, Bouke; Boykoff, Maxwell (2015). "Dominant frames in legacy and social media coverage of the IPCC fifth assessment report". Nature climate change, v. 5, n. 4, pp. 380-385.

Pace, Stefano; Buzzanca, Stefano; Fratocchi, Luciano (2016). "The structure of conversations on social networks: between dialogic and dialectic threads". International journal of information management, v. 36, n. 6, pp. 1144-1151.

Palos-Sánchez, Pedro; Saura, José-Ramón; Reyes-Menéndez, Ana; Vásquez-Esquivel, Ivonne V. (2018). "Users acceptance of location-based marketing apps in tourism sector: an exploratory analysis". Journal of spatial and organizational dynamics, v. 6, n. 3, pp. 258-270.

Pearce, Warren; Holmberg, Kim; Hellsten, Iina; Nerlich, Brigitte (2014). "Climate change on Twitter: topics, communities and conversations about the 2013 IPCC working group 1 report". PLoS one, v. 9, n. 4, e94785.

Pearce, Warren; Niederer, Sabine; í–zkula, Suay M.; Sánchez-Querubí­n, Natalia (2019). "The social media life of climate change: platforms, publics, and future imaginaries". Wiley interdisciplinary reviews: climate change, v. 10, n. 2, e569.

Porter, Amanda J.; Hellsten, Iina (2014). "Investigating participatory dynamics through social media using a multideterminant "˜frame´ approach: the case of Climategate on YouTube". Journal of computer"mediated communication, v. 19, n. 4, pp. 1024-1041.

Pritchard, Jonathan K.; Stephens, Matthew; Donnelly, Peter (2000). "Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data". Genetics, v. 155, n. 2, pp. 945-959.

Rama-Maneiro, Efrén; Vidal, Juan C.; Lama, Manuel (2020). "Collective disambiguation in entity linking based on topic coherence in semantic graphs". Knowledge-based systems, v. 199, 105967.

Reyes-Menéndez, Ana; Correia, Marisol B.; Matos, Nelson; Adap, Charlene (2020). "Understanding online consumer behavior and eWOM strategies for sustainable business management in the tourism industry". Sustainability, v. 12, n. 21, 8972.

Reyes-Menéndez, Ana; Saura, José-Ramón; Álvarez-Alonso, César (2018). "Understanding #WorldEnvironmentDay user opinions in Twitter: a topic-based sentiment analysis approach". International journal of environmental research and public health, v. 15, n. 11.

Reyes-Menéndez, Ana; Saura, José-Ramón; Filipe, Ferrao (2019). "The importance of behavioral data to identify online fake reviews for tourism businesses: a systematic review". PeerJ computer science, v. 5, e219.

Saura, José-Ramón; Reyes-Menéndez, Ana; Álvarez-Alonso, César (2018). "Do online comments affect environmental management? Identifying factors related to environmental management and sustainability of hotels". Sustainability, v. 10, n. 9, 3016.

Saura, José-Ramón; Rodrí­guez-Herráez, Beatriz; Reyes-Menéndez, Ana (2019). "Comparing a traditional approach for financial brand communication analysis with a big data analytics technique". IEEE access, v. 7, n. 1.

Schmid, Hans-Jí¶rg (2016). "Why cognitive linguistics must embrace the social and pragmatic dimensions of language and how it could do so more seriously". Cognitive linguistics, v. 27, n. 4, pp. 543-557.

Singh, Akshit; Shukla, Nagesh; Mishra, Nishikant (2018). "Social media data analytics to improve supply chain management in food industries". Transportation research part E: logistics and transportation review, v. 114, pp. 398-415.

Singh, Devinder-Pal; Kastanakis, Minas N.; Paul, Justin; Felix, Reto (2021). "Non"deceptive counterfeit purchase behavior of luxury fashion products". Journal of consumer behaviour, v. 20, n. 5, pp. 1078-1091.

Sinpeng, Aim (2021). "Hashtag activism: social media and the #FreeYouth protests in Thailand". Critical Asian studies, v. 53, n. 2, pp. 192-205.

Skill, Karin; Passero, Sergio; Francisco, Marie (2021). "Assembling Amazon fires through English hashtags. Materializing environmental activism within Twitter networks". Computer supported cooperative work, v. 30, n. 5-6, pp. 715-732.

Smith, Nicholas; Leiserowitz, Anthony (2012). "The rise of global warming skepticism: exploring affective image associations in the United States over time". Risk analysis, v. 32, n. 6, pp. 1021-1032.

Stieglitz, Stefan; Mirbabaie, Milad; Ross, Bjí¶rn; Neuberger, Christoph (2018). "Social media analytics-challenges in topic discovery, data collection, and data preparation". International journal of information management, v. 39, pp. 156-168.

Su, Leona-Yi-Fan; Akin, Heather; Borssard, Dominique; Scheufele, Dietram A.; Xenos, Michael A. (2015). "Science news consumption patterns and their implications for public understanding of science". Journalism & mass communication quarterly, v. 92, n. 3, pp. 597-616.

Syed, Shaheen; Spruit, Marco (2017). "Full-text or abstract? Examining topic coherence scores using latent Dirichlet allocation". In: IEEE International conference on data and advanced analytics.

Tajfel, Henry (1974). "Social identity and intergroup behaviour". Social science information, v. 13, n. 2, pp. 65-93.

Tajfel, Henry (1981). Human groups and social categories. Studies in social psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 0521280737

Terkourafi, Marina; Haugh, Michael (2019). "Quo vadis, pragmatics?". Journal of pragmatics, v. 145.

Van-de-Donk, Wim; Loader, Brian D.; Nixon, Paul G.; Rucht, Dieter (2004). Cyberprotest: new media, citizens and social movements. Routledge. ISBN: 978 0 415297851

Van-Eck, Christel W.; Feindt, Peter H. (2022). "Parallel routes from Copenhagen to Paris: climate discourse in climate sceptic and climate activist blogs". Journal of environmental policy & planning, v. 24, n. 2, pp. 194-209.

Vanhala, Mika; Lu, Chien; Peltonen, Jaakko; Sundqvist, Sanna; Nummenmaa, Jyrki; Jí¤rvelin, Kalervo (2020). "The usage of large data sets in online consumer behaviour: a bibliometric and computational text-mining-driven analysis of previous research". Journal of business research, v. 106, pp. 46-59.

Veltri, Giuseppe A.; Atanasova, Dimitrinka (2017). "Climate change on Twitter: content, media ecology and information sharing behaviour". Public understanding of science, v. 26, n. 6, pp. 721-737.

Washington, Haydn; Cook, John (2011). Climate change denial. Earthscan. ISBN: 978 1 849713368

Whitmarsh, Lorraine (2011). "Scepticism and uncertainty about climate change: dimensions, determinants and change over time". Global environmental change, v. 21, n. 2, pp. 690-700.

Whitmarsh, Lorraine; Capstick, Stuart (2018). "Perceptions of climate change". In: Clayton, Susan; Manning, Christie (eds.). Psychology and climate change. Human perceptions, impacts and responses. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 13-33. ISBN: 978 0 128131305

Whitmarsh, Lorraine; Corner, Adam (2017). "Tools for a new climate conversation: a mixed-methods study of language for public engagement across the political spectrum". Global environmental change, v. 42, pp. 122-135.

Williams, Hywel T. P.; McMurray, James R.; Kurz, Tim; Lambert, F. Hugo (2015). "Network analysis reveals open forums and echo chambers in social media discussions of climate change". Global environmental change, v. 32, pp. 126-138.

Wozniak, Antal; Wessler, Harmut; Lí¼ck, Julia (2017). "Who prevails in the visual framing contest about the United Nations climate change conferences?". Journalism studies, v. 18, n. 11, pp. 1433-1452.

Wu, Ming-Wen; Su, Keh-Yih (1993). "Corpus-based automatic compound extraction with mutual information and relative frequency count". In: Proceedings of rocling VI Computational linguistics conference, pp. 207-216.

Wu, Zezhou; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Qiaohui; Wang, Hao (2021). "Attitude of Chinese public towards municipal solid waste sorting policy: a text mining study". Science of the total environment, v. 756, 142674.

Xiong, Ying; Cho, Moonhee; Boatwright, Brandon (2019). "Hashtag activism and message frames among social movement organizations: semantic network analysis and thematic analysis of Twitter during the #MeToo movement". Public relations review, v. 45, n. 1, pp. 10-23.

Zappavigna, Michele (2015). "Searchable talk: the linguistic functions of hashtags". Social semiotics, v. 25, n. 3, pp. 274-291.

Zoller, Heather M.; Casteel, Diana (2021). "#March for our lives: health activism, diagnostic framing, gun control, and the gun industry". Health communication, v. 37, n. 4.



Cómo citar

Villagra, N., Reyes-Menéndez, A., Clemente-Mediavilla, J., & Semova, D. J. (2023). Using algorithms to identify social activism and climate skepticism in user-generated content on Twitter. Profesional De La información Information Professional, 32(3).



Artí­culos de investigación / Research articles