Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2012, San Jose, CA, USA, 56th Annual Proceedings of ISSS

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Identifying Actors in Political Activism over Twitter

Kevin Kin-Chung Leung

Abstract


Recently, internet social media has been championed as an important tool for political activism and democracy. Many models exist for various types of group action, with many inspired by Granovetter's threshold model of collective action, but these models don't distinguish between the effects of specific types of actions. I begin with a network model of collective action for Twitter and interpret it for cascades of retweets during recent political activism for various roles. Although identities are easiest to understand strictly by the labels we use to denote them, I will show how identities iterate over practice and labels in this community. By connecting characteristics of network models and previous analysis of retweets, I will show how a person's history influences his or her actions and how those actions dictate chosen identities.



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