Discussing Occupy Wall Street on Twitter

Abstract

To evaluate the quality of public discussion about social movements on Twitter and to understand the structural features and evolution of longitudinal discussion networks, we analyze tweets about the Occupy Wall Street movement posted over the course of 16 days by investigating the relationship between inequality, emotion, and the stability of online discussion. The results reveal that (1) the discussion is highly unequal for both initiating discussions and receiving conversations; (2) the stability of the discussion is much higher for receivers than for initiators; (3) the inequality of online discussions moderates the stability of online discussions; and (4) on an individual level, there is no significant relationship between emotion and political discussion. The implications help evaluate the quality of public discussion, and to understand the relationship between online discussion and social movements.

Publication
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 16(9): 679-685

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