So, who drove the conversation around Catalan independence?
Barcelona spoke first: in the leadup to 1-Oct and immediately afterwards, Barcelona-based Twitter users directed the conversation. But soon Madrid’s voice grew in response, and towards the end of October, Madrid’s social networks were discussing the topic even more than Barcelona.
One key difference was the major actors. Barcelona’s fast start was driven by its politicians, who were the most active participants in the early Twitter conversation. But in Madrid, ordinary citizens were the ones who began discussing the situation. Politicians in Madrid responded several days after Madrid citizens’ voices reached their peak.