The dynamics of protest recruitment through an online network.

Sandra González-Bailón, Javier Borge-Holthoefer, Alejandro Rivero, Yamir Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The recent wave of mobilizations in the Arab world and across Western countries has generated much discussion on how digital media is connected to the diffusion of protests. We examine that connection using data from the surge of mobilizations that took place in Spain in May 2011. We study recruitment patterns in the Twitter network and find evidence of social influence and complex contagion. We identify the network position of early participants (i.e. the leaders of the recruitment process) and of the users who acted as seeds of message cascades (i.e. the spreaders of information). We find that early participants cannot be characterized by a typical topological position but spreaders tend to be more central in the network. These findings shed light on the connection between online networks, social contagion, and collective dynamics, and offer an empirical test to the recruitment mechanisms theorized in formal models of collective action.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Volume1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Arab World
Social Support
Spain
Seeds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

González-Bailón, S., Borge-Holthoefer, J., Rivero, A., & Moreno, Y. (2011). The dynamics of protest recruitment through an online network. Scientific Reports, 1.

The dynamics of protest recruitment through an online network. / González-Bailón, Sandra; Borge-Holthoefer, Javier; Rivero, Alejandro; Moreno, Yamir.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 1, 01.12.2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

González-Bailón, S, Borge-Holthoefer, J, Rivero, A & Moreno, Y 2011, 'The dynamics of protest recruitment through an online network.', Scientific Reports, vol. 1.
González-Bailón S, Borge-Holthoefer J, Rivero A, Moreno Y. The dynamics of protest recruitment through an online network. Scientific Reports. 2011 Dec 1;1.
González-Bailón, Sandra ; Borge-Holthoefer, Javier ; Rivero, Alejandro ; Moreno, Yamir. / The dynamics of protest recruitment through an online network. In: Scientific Reports. 2011 ; Vol. 1.
@article{84e1e931497e43f08fd4fa91edbdaeb0,
title = "The dynamics of protest recruitment through an online network.",
abstract = "The recent wave of mobilizations in the Arab world and across Western countries has generated much discussion on how digital media is connected to the diffusion of protests. We examine that connection using data from the surge of mobilizations that took place in Spain in May 2011. We study recruitment patterns in the Twitter network and find evidence of social influence and complex contagion. We identify the network position of early participants (i.e. the leaders of the recruitment process) and of the users who acted as seeds of message cascades (i.e. the spreaders of information). We find that early participants cannot be characterized by a typical topological position but spreaders tend to be more central in the network. These findings shed light on the connection between online networks, social contagion, and collective dynamics, and offer an empirical test to the recruitment mechanisms theorized in formal models of collective action.",
author = "Sandra Gonz{\'a}lez-Bail{\'o}n and Javier Borge-Holthoefer and Alejandro Rivero and Yamir Moreno",
year = "2011",
month = "12",
day = "1",
language = "English",
volume = "1",
journal = "Scientific Reports",
issn = "2045-2322",
publisher = "Nature Publishing Group",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The dynamics of protest recruitment through an online network.

AU - González-Bailón, Sandra

AU - Borge-Holthoefer, Javier

AU - Rivero, Alejandro

AU - Moreno, Yamir

PY - 2011/12/1

Y1 - 2011/12/1

N2 - The recent wave of mobilizations in the Arab world and across Western countries has generated much discussion on how digital media is connected to the diffusion of protests. We examine that connection using data from the surge of mobilizations that took place in Spain in May 2011. We study recruitment patterns in the Twitter network and find evidence of social influence and complex contagion. We identify the network position of early participants (i.e. the leaders of the recruitment process) and of the users who acted as seeds of message cascades (i.e. the spreaders of information). We find that early participants cannot be characterized by a typical topological position but spreaders tend to be more central in the network. These findings shed light on the connection between online networks, social contagion, and collective dynamics, and offer an empirical test to the recruitment mechanisms theorized in formal models of collective action.

AB - The recent wave of mobilizations in the Arab world and across Western countries has generated much discussion on how digital media is connected to the diffusion of protests. We examine that connection using data from the surge of mobilizations that took place in Spain in May 2011. We study recruitment patterns in the Twitter network and find evidence of social influence and complex contagion. We identify the network position of early participants (i.e. the leaders of the recruitment process) and of the users who acted as seeds of message cascades (i.e. the spreaders of information). We find that early participants cannot be characterized by a typical topological position but spreaders tend to be more central in the network. These findings shed light on the connection between online networks, social contagion, and collective dynamics, and offer an empirical test to the recruitment mechanisms theorized in formal models of collective action.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84883795103&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84883795103&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 22355712

VL - 1

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

ER -