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Rebordering Britain & Britons after Brexit

Moral Expressions in 280 Characters or Less: An Analysis of Politician Tweets Following the 2016 Brexit Referendum Vote


Ideas about morality are deeply entrenched into political opinions. This article examines the online communication of British parliamentarians from May 2017-December 2019, following the 2016 referendum that resulted in Britain's exit (Brexit) from the European Union. It aims to uncover how British parliamentarians use moral foundations to discuss the Brexit withdrawal agreement on Twitter, using Moral Foundations Theory as a classification basis for their tweets. It is found that the majority of Brexit related tweets contain elements of moral reasoning, especially relating to the foundations of Authority and Loyalty. There are common underlying foundations between parties, but parties express opposing viewpoints within a single foundation. The study provides useful insights into Twitter's use as an arena for moral argumentation, as well as uncovers the politician's uses of moral arguments during Brexit agreement negotiations on Twitter. It contributes to the limited body of work focusing on the moral arguments made by politicians through Twitter.


Frontiers in Big Data


Livia van Vliet (Netherlands)

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