Quality & Quantity

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 1013–1024 | Cite as

Online image content analysis of political figures: an exploratory study



This study investigates the emotional content of facial images of South Korean politicians. The data were drawn from official websites of 18th National Assembly members. We categorized facial expressions (smiling, frowning, and no expression) by using photos on the websites. The smiling image was the most prevalent facial expression regardless of the socio-political-demographic attributes of the politicians. The existence and strength of the smiling image had significant positive correlations with the politicians’ web visibility. Opposition parties were significantly more likely to show frowning or expressionless images than the ruling party. The more experienced politicians were more likely to continue their use smiling images than similarly aged politicians with less experience.


Visual content analysis Emotional content analysis Online visibility Web-based campaigns Facial expressions Candidate websites 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentIstanbul Bilgi UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.World Class University Webometrics InstituteGyeongsan-SiSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Media and CommunicationYeungNam UniversityGyeongsan-SiSouth Korea

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