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Opinion leaders on social media: A multilayer approach
Research Areas
  • Physics chemical and mathematical
Twitter is a social media outlet where users are able to interact in three different ways: following, mentioning, or retweeting. Accordingly, one can define Twitter as a multilayer social network where each layer represents one of the three interaction mechanisms. We analyzed the user behavior on Twitter during politically motivated events: the 2010 Venezuelan protests, the decease of a Venezuelan President, and the Spanish general elections. We found that the structure of the follower layer conditions the structure of the retweet layer. A low number of followers constrains the effectiveness of users to propagate information. Politicians dominate the structure of the mention layer and shape large communities of regular users, while traditional media accounts were the sources from which people retweeted information. Such behavior is manifested in the collapsed directed multiplex network that does not present a rich-club ordering. However, when considering reciprocal interactions the rich-club ordering emerges, as elite accounts preferentially interacted among themselves and largely ignored the crowd. We explored the relationship between the community structure between the three layers. At the follower level users cluster in large and dense communities holding various hubs, that break into smaller and more segregated ones in the mention and retweet layers. We also found clusters of highly polarized users in the retweet networks. We analyze this behavior by proposing model to estimate the propagation of opinions on social networks, which we apply to measure polarization in political conversations. Hence, we argue that to fully understand Twitter we have to analyze it as a multilayer social network, evaluating the three types of interactions.
Conference on Complex Systems 2017 (CCS2017) [http://ccs17.unam.mx/]
Cancun (México)
Start Date
End Date
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Conference on Complex Systems 2017 - Abstract booklet [http://ccs17.unam.mx/booklet.pdf]
  • Autor: Francisco Javier Borondo Benito (UPM)
  • Autor: Alfredo Morales Guzmán (UPM)
  • Autor: Rosa Maria Benito Zafrilla (UPM)
  • Autor: Juan Carlos Losada Gonzalez (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Grupo de Sistemas Complejos
  • Departamento: Ingeniería Agroforestal
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