Social media and open source intelligence (OSINT) in Andalusian local governmentsthe cases of Instagram and Twitter

  1. Perea El Khalifi, David
Supervised by:
  1. Enrique Bonsón Ponte Director
  2. Tomás Escobar Rodríguez Director

Defence university: Universidad de Huelva

Fecha de defensa: 28 May 2021

  1. Ana Gessa Perera Chair
  2. Michaela Bednárová Secretary
  3. Rita Lambogliaq Committee member

Type: Thesis


The use of communication channels represented by social media is a continuous trend in all areas. Its widespread adoption by both individuals and private and public organisations is undeniable. The evolution of new information and communication technologies with smartphones has led public administrations to consider other communication strategies. Some are more flexible than traditional media and are able to reach a wider audience and different stakeholder groups in a more immediate way. In particular, for local governments, social media networks play a key role in enabling them to get closer to their citizens, and should therefore be investigated further. Public institutions must be at the service of the citizen, and citizens are on social media. In order to contribute to the research in this area, the objective of this empirical study was to analyse citizen engagement on Twitter and Instagram with the governments of the users’ municipalities and to analyse the dissemination practices of municipalities who respond to the demands of their citizens via these social media platforms. For the purposes of this research, most of the municipalities of Andalusia (Spain) have been analysed. All of this analysis has been carried out using Big Data techniques with Open Source Intelligence tools (OSINT), which makes it possible to investigate a large volume of data by taking into account all of the information generated on Twitter and Instagram by all of the publications (N = All) of the local governments. In this way, through this potential methodology, having all the data provides evidence that is closer to the reality of debates about social media in public administration. For both academics and professionals in the field provide valuable interpretations of how the functionalities of social media are not being used by local governments, that do not publish those that the citizens demand, as in the case studied, which deals with environmental disclosure. The findings of this original study can be placed in the context of broader debates in the social sciences. The need for more innovative and ambitious research is emphasised; with methodologies in line with current technological advances that make it possible to work with a considerable volume of data to advance the most accurate interpretations of social and technological changes in today’s society. Thus expanding the research to multiple regions and integrating the findings in order to establish more effective and efficient communication strategies.