Social media networks and the networks of meanings as imaginings of the Cyprus problem: A study on the use of images on Twitter in the Cyprus peace efforts

  • Christiana Karayianni Frederick University, Nicosia, Cyprus
  • Charis Psaltis University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus
Keywords: Cyprus problem, Images, Social Representations, Social Media, Social network analysis


The article investigates images in communication processes as manifestations of social representations. Focusing on the conflict-affected society of Cyprus, it studies the images used in 76250 tweets related to the Cyprus problem during the intensification of the negotiations in the period between September 2016 – July 2017. Through social network visualisation we identify the most prominent images used to construct meaning about the Cyprus problem as well as the clusters created through the image tweeting. The results show that most of the images tweeted about the Cyprus problem are institutionalised manifestations of social representations that contribute to meanings that are not conducive to the peace process in Cyprus. They instead enhance the social imaginary of Cyprus being determined by a loop of unsuccessful peace efforts that are always distant from the grassroot of society and by the concept that a solution will arrive to Cyprus as an external force sourced from the political elites.