Framing North Korea on Twitter: Is Network Strength Related to Sentiment?

  • Kang, Seok (Department of Communication. College of Liberal and Fine Art. The University of Texas at San Antonio)
  • Published : 2021.12.31


Research on the news coverage of North Korea has been paying less attention to social media platforms than to legacy media. An increasing number of social media users post, retweet, share, interpret, and set agendas on North Korea. The accessibility of international users and North Korea's publicity purposes make social media a venue for expression, news diversity, and framing about the nation. This study examined the sentiment of Twitter posts on North Korea from a framing perspective and the relationship between network strengths and sentiment from a social network perspective. Data were collected using two tools: Jupyter Notebook with Python 3.6 for preliminary analysis and NodeXL for main analysis. A total of 11,957 tweets, 10,000 of which were collected using Python and 1,957 tweets using NodeXL, about North Korea between June 20-21, 2020 were collected. Results demonstrated that there was more negative sentiment than positive sentiment about North Korea in the sampled Twitter posts. Some users belonging to small network sizes reached out to others on Twitter to build networks and spread positive information about North Korea. Influential users tended to be impartial to sentiment about North Korea, while some Twitter users with a small network exhibited high percentages of positive words about North Korea. Overall, marginalized populations with network bonding were more likely to express positive sentiment about North Korea than were influencers at the center of networks.