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Diffusion of Protest-related Information on Social Media

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Daegu Gyeongbuk International Social Network Conference (DISC) 2013 발표자료

Daegu Gyeongbuk International Social Network Conference (DISC) 2013 발표자료

December 13, 2013

Se Jung Park
Yon Soo Lim
Han Woo Park

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Diffusion of Protest-related Information on Social Media Diffusion of Protest-related Information on Social Media Presentation Transcript

  • Daegu Gyeongbuk International Social Network Conference (DISC) 2013 Diffusion of Protest-related Information on Social Media December 13, 2013 Se Jung Park Yon Soo Lim Han Woo Park
  • Introduction  Social media can serve as an effective tool for social movements, enabling users to reach the widest users.
  • Introduction  The “Occupy Wall Street” (OWS) protest initially organized in New York City has spread rapidly across the world through social media networks and thus has become a global issue. View slide
  • Previous Studies      Caren and Gaby (2011) explored how OWS movement was diffused on Facebook. Chang, Pimentel, and Svistunov (2011) examined Twitter about OWS protest by labeling sentiments reflected in a total of. 1,980 tweets. Xie, Natsev, Kender, Hill, and Smith (2011) tracked 28,478 relevant videos featuring the Iranian election on YouTube. These studies suggested that the function of social media as an effective communication channel is useful for facilitating collective action. However, they focused on the role of a specific social media. The distinct functions among social media cannot be identified. View slide
  • Research Objective  This study aims to understand how protest-related information is diffused on social media in featuring a specific social movement, “Occupy Wall Street.”  Also, this study systematically identifies the distinct functions of two major social media platforms (Twitter and YouTube) by comparing the communication networks.
  • Method (Data)  Twitter   A user’s (@occupyWallst) communication network on Twitter representing “mention” and “reply-to” relationships in the latest tweets was captured on May 1, 2012, by using NodeXL. YouTube  NodeXL was used to extract YouTube videos whose titles, keywords, descriptions, categories, or usernames contained the keyword "OccupyWallStreet." A total of 462 videos created from May 29, 2010, to May 2, 2012
  • Method (Analysis)  Social Network Analysis   Descriptive metrics of the networks were computed to measure the structure and overarching characteristics of Twitter and YouTube networks through NodeXL. User Profile Analysis  To examine the range of information distribution and the potential of social mobilization, this study identifies the geographic location of users in Twitter and YouTube network based on their profile information
  • Results  Twitter
  • Results  Twitter  The typology of the network reflected a hub-and-spoke structure, indicating that there were several key users who played opinion leaders in the communication network.  The official OWS account occupied a central position in the network. This implies that the user successfully played a role not only as a key informant in the movement but also as a broker of the issue, forming bridges between other key clusters in the network.  This type of structural feature suggests that the few hub users have more power than others in terms of the network position and can effectively influence and control others in diffusing protest-related information.
  • Results  YouTube
  • Results  YouTube  the OWS network on YouTube was a small-world network, sharing similar content, and densely interconnected with one another, sharing the same keywords.  Darker and larger nodes (higher ratings and views) tended to be central in the network, whereas pink ones (no ratings) were small and located in the periphery.  Popular YouTube clips (a high number of views) were more likely to receive high ratings.  This suggests that the number of views is not only indicative of public attention but also related to the public’s positive arousal.
  • Results  The geographic location of users Twitter U.S. YouTube Non-U.S. U.S. Non-U.S. 27% 34% 55% 73% 11% N=226 N=461
  • Discussion  Twitter network was organized by critical several hubs who played core roles as opinion leaders in disseminating information and bridging other users in forming community.  In the YouTube network, popular videos that had been rated by a number of viewers were highly clustered, reinforcing their similar voices by using same keywords in tags.  Despite the limited number of non-U.S. users in both networks, the diversity of international actors illuminates the potential function of social media in globalizing a social event.
  • Conclusion  This study identified how protest-related information is diffused on social media by examining the network structures of two major social media platforms.  This study found the distinct functions of social media platforms. Protest-related information can be actively disseminated on Twitter, and the information can be reinforced on YouTube.  In sum, the functional combination of social media platforms can facilitate information diffusion processes to arouse a wide range of people into action.
  • Thank you for your attention ! Se Jung Park Ph.D. Candidate Communication, Georgia State University Yon Soo Lim Assistant Professor Advertising & Public Relations, Hongik University Han Woo Park Associate Professor Media & Communication, Yeungnam University hanpark@yu.ac.kr