Dr Mitchell John Hobbs
Dr Chao Sun
This study provides an investigation of a suspected astroturfing campaign concerning the Adani Carmichael coal mine first identified by BuzzFeed in 2017. It asks three related research questions. RQ1: Can digital research methods and social media network analysis be used to identify and prove/disprove astroturfing on Twitter? RQ2: Were the accounts supporting the mine an "army" of social bots? RQ3: What is the potential effectiveness of this specific type of outsider lobbying on social media? This analysis situating social media astroturfing within the research literature on issues management, outsider lobbying, false front groups and astroturfing. Social media network analysis is used to exploring the empirical data and generate network visualisations.