Sentiment Analysis of Facebook Users Reacting to Political Campaign Posts

Abstract: A recent trend in political campaign studies is the use of sentiment analysis to understand users’ decisions. The scandal of Facebook and Cambridge Analytics is an example of efforts to use social media platforms to impact citizens’ will. This research aims to answer the question: Did the Facebook reactions of users in Mexico reflect the outcomes of the elections and possibly also the users’ emotions toward the political candidates of the State of Mexico in 2017? To answer the research question, we analyzed data collected from 4,128 Facebook posts and their reactions. The available reactions for Facebook users are: like, love, haha, wow, sad, and angry. Doing so revealed some kind of mood from the users in the Facebook comments section and opinions of the local government campaign in the central State of Mexico. The elections studied took place in June 2017. Our findings show that the winning political party had more negative sentiment and fewer posts and users’ discussions of the candidates in Facebook comments sections than the political party with the largest positive sentiment. This party was unsuccessful in winning the elections.

Referencia: Rodrigo Sandoval-Almazan and David Valle-Cruz. 2020. Sentiment Analysis of Facebook Users Reacting to Political Campaign Posts. Digital Government Research and Practice. 1, 2, Article 12 (April 2020), 13 pages. Online