Olli Parviainen, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Petro Poutanen, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Salla Laaksonen, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences
Mikael Rekola, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
We examined nearly 100 000 Facebook users and their interactions in Finnish presidential elections' campaign pages to understand better the social behavior of political activity through interactions and structures of communication networks. Our attention is focused on the second round of campaigning. The data consists of over 27 000 interactions in the two candidates' Facebook pages during a period of 14 days. Combining statistical and social network analysis we were able to distinguish structural differences in the underlying friendship networks, such as in the interconnectedness of the page users. Our findings imply that activity in political pages is linked to the connectedness of the users generating the content. We also found that content generated by a page admin created most of the activity. The results and future implications of this study could be utilized to understand and possibly predict the patterns of political activity in social media.