Twitter ain't without frontiers: Economic, social, and cultural boundaries in international communication

Ruth Garcia-Gavilanes, Yelena Mejova, Daniele Quercia

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

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With the advent of Twitter and other lightweight socialnetworking services, one might think that it is easier than ever to maintain geographically dispersed, weaker social ties. By contrast, in this study we show that the international Twitter communication landscape is not only still largely predetermined by physical distance, but that it also depends on countries' social, economic, and cultural attributes. We describe a study of an international Twitter mention network of 13 million users across over 100 countries. We show that the Gravity Model, which hypothesizes that the flow between two areas is proportional to their masses (which we approximate using internet penetration) and inversely proportional to the distance between them, is correlated (r = 0.68) with the international communication flow. Using this model, along with other social, economic, and cultural variables, we predict the communication volume at Adjusted R2 of 0.80, with trade, language and racial intolerance especially impacting communication. We discuss the implications of these barriers to communication in the contexts of collaborative work, software design, and recommendation systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1511-1522
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781450325400
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2014 - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: 15 Feb 201419 Feb 2014

Other

Other17th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2014
CountryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD
Period15/2/1419/2/14

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Keywords

  • Communication
  • Culture
  • Social Media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Garcia-Gavilanes, R., Mejova, Y., & Quercia, D. (2014). Twitter ain't without frontiers: Economic, social, and cultural boundaries in international communication. In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW (pp. 1511-1522). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2531602.2531725