Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2268165
 
 

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Networked Discontent: The Anatomy of Protest Campaigns in Social Media


Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon


University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication

Ning Wang


University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

May 21, 2013


Abstract:     
We analyze the communication network that emerged in social media around an international protest campaign launched in May 2012. Applying insights from network science and the theory of brokerage, we examine the cohesion of the network with community detection methods, and identify the users that spanned structural holes, creating bridges for potential diffusion. We also analyze actual information flows to assess how the network was used to facilitate the transmission of information. Our findings provide evidence of fragmentation in online communication dynamics, and of a distribution of brokerage opportunities that was both uneven and underexploited. We use these findings to assess recent theoretical claims about political protests in the digital age.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: social protests; online networks; structural constraint; modularity; digital media

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Date posted: May 22, 2013 ; Last revised: September 2, 2014

Suggested Citation

Gonzalez-Bailon, Sandra and Wang, Ning, Networked Discontent: The Anatomy of Protest Campaigns in Social Media (May 21, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2268165 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2268165

Contact Information

Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon (Contact Author)
University of Pennsylvania - Annenberg School for Communication ( email )
Philadelphia, PA
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.asc.upenn.edu/sgonzalezbailon/
Ning Wang
University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )
1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom
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