Party ideologies in 140 characters: Twitter use by Brazilian Congressmen

<p></p><p>Abstract With increasing use of the Internet, different social and economic groups are appropriating its resources in various ways. As such, politicians have adopted this new media for varying reasons. From an ideological classification of political parties represented in Brazilian Congress, this paper evaluates whether it is a variable that can distinguish federal congressmen’s adoption and use of Twitter. A total of 512 profiles of congressmen who use Twitter to post content and connect with citizens and colleagues from Congress were analysed in December 2013. Twitter’s programming platform was used to collect data on the use of profiles and connections between them and with other social network profiles. This data was related to the ideological classification of different parties. The results show that it is possible to distinguish Twitter groups of different ideologies represented in Congress because they adopted its use at various times, have different levels of popularity, follow congressional colleagues with varying patterns of interest and have diverging activity indicators in the digital environment.</p><p></p>