CLOUD-C: Climate, social media and transnational research workshop

On April 18th and 19th, we hosted the workshop “CLOUD-C: Climate, Social Media, and Transnational Research” at the Weizenbaum Institute, Berlin, co-organized with the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH).

The Cloud-C Project is an international collaboration developed by the HSSH, focused on analyzing the discourse on climate politics in social media. This transnational project comprises a team of over 20 researchers who collectively work on a shared dataset of 18 million Tweets from the COP 26 and COP 27 UN Climate Change conferences. By examining the intersection of climate change and social media dynamics, the project aims to enhance understanding of global climate discourse and advance methodological approaches within the academic community. Through open science principles and transnational collaboration, Cloud-C seeks to address the challenges of data analysis and foster a more interconnected and rigorous approach to studying climate communication.

The two-day workshop was co-organized by Risto Kunelius (University of Helsinki), Barbara Pfetsch (Freie Universität Berlin), and Daniel Thiele (Freie Universität Berlin/Weizenbaum Institute). Research teams from six countries and five continents presented their ongoing research on the Cloud-C dataset. Using a variety of methodological approaches, participants addressed topics such as the polarization of climate discourses, big tech and climate change, spatial references in grassroots mobilization, and coordinated manipulation of social media content.

Various research approaches to the climate change debate on social media were also discussed. The second day included a recap of the previous day’s learnings, planning for future research steps, discussing ways to expand data collection, improve analysis methods, and enhance teamwork among participants.

The workshop provided a platform for researchers to share their ideas and knowledge, brainstorm different research strategies, and strengthen collaborative ties among the involved researchers. We thank the Helsinki Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities (HSSH) for co-organizing the workshop and all members of the CLOUD-C project who participated.

Axel Burns, Queensland University of Technology, AUS, presenting the research of his group on the Cloud-C data.