Common ground is vital for developing deliberative democracy. The current study employs text mining techniques to measure common ground in online political discussions and examines how the structure of political discussions coevolves with common ground over time. The present study collected 175,960 messages over a period of 13 months, from a popular discussion forum on 2012 U.S. presidential election. Common ground is measured by a semantic similarity network and an interpretive framework network. The former emphasizes shared political knowledge, while the latter emphasizes shared interpretations. In addition, this study explores the coevolutionary process of political discussion and common ground. Results were obtained by employing longitudinal network analysis. They suggest that political discussions could facilitate the achievement of common ground that might further serve as a facilitator of political discussion among the participants.
Common ground, political deliberation, social network analysis, text mining
Liang, H. (2014). Coevolution of political discussion and common ground in web discussion forum. Social Science Computer Review, 32(2), 155-169. doi: 10.1177/0894439313506844