Structures of broken ties: Exploring unfollow behavior on twitter

Bo Xu, Yun Huang, Haewoon Kwak, Noshir S. Contractor

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

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates unfollow behavior in Twitter, i.e. people removing others from their Twitter following lists. Considering the interdependency and dynamics of unfollow decisions, we use actor-oriented modeling (SIENA) to examine the impacts of reciprocity, status, embeddedness, homophily, and informativeness on tie dissolution. Focusing on ordinary users in tightly-knitted user groups, the results show that relational properties play key roles in the emergence of unfollow behavior: mutual following relations and common followees reduce the likelihood of unfollowing. And unfollow tends to be reciprocal: when a user is unfollowed by someone, he or she will unfollow back. However, there is no evidence of the impacts of homophily based on common interests and informativeness of interactions. The findings suggest that Twitter has many heterogeneous user groups and relational and informational factors may not be applicable universally.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCSCW 2013 - Proceedings of the 2013 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work
Pages871-876
Number of pages6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2013
Event2013 2nd ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2013 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: 23 Feb 201327 Feb 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW

Other

Other2013 2nd ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW 2013
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period23/2/1327/2/13

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Keywords

  • Actor-oriented modeling (SIENA)
  • Snowball sampling
  • Tie dissolution
  • Twitter
  • Unfollow relations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

Cite this

Xu, B., Huang, Y., Kwak, H., & Contractor, N. S. (2013). Structures of broken ties: Exploring unfollow behavior on twitter. In CSCW 2013 - Proceedings of the 2013 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (pp. 871-876). (Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW). https://doi.org/10.1145/2441776.2441875