The Bridges and Brokers of Global Campaigns in the Context of Social Media
University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication
University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute
May 21, 2013
We investigate how online networks mediate contentious politics by analyzing communication around a global campaign launched in May 2012. We analyze about 450,000 Twitter messages related to the Occupy and ‘indignados’ movements. We test how well integrated the two movements are; we characterize users posting content relevant to both movements; and we examine the robustness of the network to node removal. We find that global connectivity depends on a small percentage of users and that the two movements are mostly concerned with their local struggles: the bridges connecting the two flows of information channel just a small percentage of all information exchanged. We use these findings to assess theoretical claims about political protests in the digital age.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 31
Keywords: contentious politics, digital protests, online social networks, structural constraint, modularity structure, network robustnessworking papers series
Date posted: May 22, 2013
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