Core-Periphery or Decentralized? Topological Shifts of Specialized Information on Twitter
Social Networks, Forthcoming
32 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017 Last revised: 3 Oct 2017
Date Written: September 29, 2017
In this paper we investigate shifts in Twitter network topology resulting from the type of information being shared. We identified communities matching areas of agricultural expertise and measured the core-periphery centralization of network formations resulting from users sharing generic versus specialized information. We found that centralization increases when specialized information is shared and that the network adopts decentralized formations as conversations become more generic. The results are consistent with classical diffusion models positing that specialized information comes with greater centralization, but they also show that users favor decentralized formations, which can foster community cohesion, when spreading specialized information is secondary.
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