Content and network dynamics behind Egyptian political polarization on twitter

Javier Borge-Holthoefer, Walid Magdy, Kareem Darwish, Ingmar Weber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

There is little doubt about whether social networks play a role in modern protests. This agreement has triggered an entire research avenue, in which social structure and content analysis have been central -but are typically exploited separately. Here, we combine these two approaches to shed light on the opinion evolution dynamics in Egypt during the summer of 2013 along two axes (Islamist/Secularist, pro/anti-military intervention). We intend to find traces of opinion changes in Egypt's population, paralleling those in the international community -which oscillated from sympathetic to condemnatory as civil clashes grew. We find little evidence of people "switching" sides but observe clear changes in volume with both pro-and anti-military camps becoming more active at different stages. Our work contributes new insights into the dynamics of large protest movements, specially in the aftermath of the main events -rather unattended previously. It questions the standard narrative concerning a simplistic mapping between Secularist/pro-military and Islamist/anti-military. Finally, our conclusions provide empirical validation to sociological models regarding the behavior of individuals in conflictive contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages700-711
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781450329224
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2015
Event18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015 - BC, Canada
Duration: 14 Mar 201518 Mar 2015

Other

Other18th ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2015
CountryCanada
CityBC
Period14/3/1518/3/15

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Keywords

  • Egypt
  • mobilization
  • opinion switch
  • polarization
  • Twitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Borge-Holthoefer, J., Magdy, W., Darwish, K., & Weber, I. (2015). Content and network dynamics behind Egyptian political polarization on twitter. In CSCW 2015 - Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (pp. 700-711). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/2675133.2675163