Attending the 5th Annual International Conference on Communication and Management (ICCM2019), 15-18 April 2019 (Athens, Greece) for presenting my research paper “Macedonian name dispute: The influencers of the hashtags #macedonia and #macedoniaisgreek on Twitter” was a fruitful experience. The discussion with other knowledgeable Professors, researchers, and students resulted in learning more about trending topics in the field of Journalism and Communication.
The abstract of the presented paper:
The dispute about the name of Macedonia is linked with the so-called Macedonian Question that is causing conflicts amongst the Balkan countries for more than hundred years. This peculiar case of conflict is depended on the changing of the politics and the geographical territories of the countries that used to be ruled by the Ottoman Empire. The need for those populations to self-determine their future led to wars and the creation of states that undermined the nationalistic ambitions of each other. In the past, there were accusations from both Greece and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) against each other. The so-called Prespes agreement seemed to pave the way for ending the Macedonian name dispute. However, it triggered a plethora of events and large demonstrations against the agreement in both countries. This study examined the networks of two hashtags #macedonia and #macedoniaisgreek for a week on Twitter by implementing social network analysis. It was proved that the most influential users of the networks are related to propaganda and nationalism. Moreover, it was revealed that the influential users of the networks were trying to support their nationalistic beliefs regarding the Macedonian identity. Some of them were even attacking verbally prominent political actors in order to promote their opinions.
Keywords: Macedonia, social network analysis, Twitter, nationalism, Prespes agreement