Social media and the Scottish independence referendum 2014 : events and the generation of enthusiasm for yes

Shephard, Mark Peter and Quinlan, Stephen (2015) Social media and the Scottish independence referendum 2014 : events and the generation of enthusiasm for yes. In: The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics. Routledge, Oxford, pp. 488-502. ISBN 9781138860766

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    Abstract

    We track the social media activity of the two main campaigns in the Scottish independence referendum, Yes Scotland (YS) and Better Together (BT), by monitoring their respective Facebook and Twitter accounts on weekdays from August 2013 until the referendum vote in September 2014. We explore the relationship between key events and online support and find that the Yes Scotland campaign pulled ahead of the Better Together campaign in terms of online enthusiasm (especially following the launch of the White Paper in November 2013), and that it accelerated exponentially in the closing weeks of the campaign as a number of events helped give it an advantage. Although further research is needed, it is interesting to note how this transformation in mobilisation online for Yes preceded big movements in support offline in the closing weeks.