Social network analysis of Twitter hashtag usage during protest meetings in Russia
Social Network Analysis of Russian Protest in Twitter Alexander Semenov Zurich, 4-7 September 2012
Data acquisition in Twitter: Free vs. $•Twitter Search API •LOTS of tweets•150 – 350 requests per hour •Sophisticated filters•Not representative •Representative•Not augmented •Augmented (Klout•Free score, etc.) •$$$
Twitter 101: what you see… Avatar Twitter name Person’s name Hashtag Twitter text Hyperlink Date Reply Retweet
24.12.2011 – Official meetings on Prospekt Sakharova & Poklonnaya Gora VSOpposition meeting on Prospekt Pro-government meeting onSakharova Poklonnaya Gora #24дек (24dec)
Data Summary twitter.text contains "24дек" Timezone = UTC Networks Retweet Reply_raw ReplyGraph Type Directed Directed DirectedVertices 385 2031 351Unique Edges 267 1387 235Edges With Duplicates 656 392 86Total Edges 923 1779 321Self-Loops 3 2 1Reciprocated Vertex Pair Ratio 0,013774105 0,007073955 0,042801556Reciprocated Edge Ratio 0,027173913 0,014048531 0,082089552Connected Components 93 513 103Single-Vertex Connected Components 2 2 1Maximum Vertices in a Connected Component 114 365 103Maximum Edges in a Connected Component 715 476 144Maximum Geodesic Distance (Diameter) 13 14 17Average Geodesic Distance 4,724113 5,016783 7,076381Graph Density 0,002489177 0,000379827 0,002181522Modularity Not Applicable Not Applicable Not Applicable
Reply Network: Top Usersnavalny* 58 xenia_sobchak* 7xenia_sobchak* 23 navalny* 7varlamov* 15 burmatoff* 6burmatoff* 12 VRSoloviev* 5tvrain* 12 “False” replies removed angeina_may 5VRSoloviev* 10 varlamov* 4vdagamov* 7 rybakoff 4aavst 6 WakeUpR 4WakeUpR 6 i_kaya 4rykov* 6 Pro-opposition users Alexgizn 4 abuse “false” replies to celebrities (marked *) to get their attention and promote their ideas.
Retweet network: Top Users olly_jolly 19 kurginyanRU* 18 angry_moscovits 17 Burmatoff* 15 anton_aprelin 13 Comrade_Vo 13 Kolobrod1 13 temkinmir 11 Alexgizn 7 flipboardnews1 6Pro-government users People are consistentobuse “retweet” function, in their retweetspreading tweets, written behavior: theyby common people. retweet either pro- government users (green) or opposition (yellow), not both.
Network of “replies” with at least one mutual tie Mutual degree >= 1 (max. = 4) Twitter is not a place for discussion?
ConclusionsAnalysis of hashtags on Twitter has several caveats:•If there are several different tags for an event, the sample is not representative•Users, who participate the discussion, but cut the hashtags to have more symbols arenot included => some network metrics are useless (reciprocity)Key findings:•Both sides of the conflict abuse Twitter features to dominate in the information field: •Pro-government users mostly do it with “Retweet” function; •People are consistent in their retweet behavior: they retweet either pro- government users (green) or opposition (yellow), not both. •Opposition users tend to use “Reply” function to get attention from the celebrities•Russian Twitter (like Russian Parliament )is not a place for discussion =).
Thank you! Alexander Semenovsemenoffalex@gmail.com