Thursday, 10 December 2015

When our federal politicians are not busy making laws, squabbling in parliament and getting photographed, many use Twitter.

Since almost all federal politicians have Twitter accounts – even some of the self-confessed luddites – at SBS we wondered “who’s following who on Twitter?”

Do our elected representatives follow politicians from other parties? Do they interact with people in their own parties or do they just use Twitter as a microphone (megaphone?) to reach an online audience?

We cannot answer all of these complex questions by looking at who’s following who on Twitter, but the graphics do provide us with an excellent insight into the social media network of our federal politicians.

A few things we spotted:

  • Cory Bernardi, Andrew Wilkie and Glen Lazarus don't follow any federal colleagues on Twitter.
  • Of the federal politicians on Twitter, the least-followed is Peter Hendy from the South-East NSW seat of Eden-Monaro.
  • The politician with the most federal MP followers is Malcolm Turnbull (141), followed closely by Tony Abbott (126).
  • The politician following the most colleagues is Bernie Ripoll of the Australian Labor Party, keeping an eye on 186 of his co-workers.
How to read this graphic
Politician is following and has followerPolitician is followingPolitician has follower
Liberal/NationalsLaborGreensOthersMember not on twitter

Who's following who? (on Twitter)

Search for a name or click an icon to display the Twitter connections of a federal politician.

Politicians on Twitter (193)Liberal/Nationals (123)Labor (80)Greens (11)Other (12)
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SOURCE: Twitter API (data accurate as of Thursday November 12th, 2015)
Thanks to Chris McDowall for the inspiration -