Studying Moral-based Differences in the Framing of Political Tweets

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


In this paper, we study the moral framing of political content on Twitter. Specifically, we examine differences in moral framing in two datasets: (i) tweets from US-based politicians annotated with political affiliation and (ii) COVID-19 related tweets in German from followers of the leaders of the five major Austrian political parties. Our research is based on recent work that introduces an unsupervised approach to extract framing bias and intensity in news using a dictionary of moral virtues and vices. In this paper, we use a more extensive dictionary and adapt it to German-language tweets. Overall, in both datasets, we observe a moral framing that is congruent with the public perception of the political parties. In the US dataset, democrats have a tendency to frame tweets in terms of care, while loyalty is a characteristic frame for republicans. In the Austrian dataset, we find that the followers of the governing conservative party emphasize care, which is a key message and moral frame in the party's COVID-19 campaign slogan. Our work complements existing studies on moral framing in social media. Also, our empirical findings provide novel insights into moral-based framing on COVID-19 in Austria.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Web and Social Media
Place of PublicationPalo Alto, CA
PublisherAAAI Press
ISBN (Print)978-1-57735-869-5
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2021
Event15th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media: ICWSM 2021 - Virtuell, Austria
Duration: 7 Jun 202110 Jun 2021


Conference15th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media
Abbreviated titleICWSM 2021


  • cs.SI


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