Global Contagion of Non-Viral Information

Date
2020-01-07
Authors
Bartal, Alon
Ravid, Gilad
Tsur, Oren
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Abstract
Contagion in Online Social Networks (OSN) is typically measured by the tendency of users to re-post information or to adopt a new behavior after exposure to that information/behavior. Most contagion research is bound by modeling: (i) only local neighbor-to-neighbor contagion (ii) the spread of viral information. However, most contagion events are non-viral and can also occur globally by non-neighbors through for example, exposure to information by exploratory browsing, or by content recommendation algorithms. This study is the first to address the phenomenon of both global and local contagion of non-viral information in a quantitative way. Analysis of Twitter networks reveals the prevailing nature of global contagion, the different temporal patterns between global and local contagion, and the ways it varies across topical categories. An interesting finding shows that users who retweeted due to global contagion have more Followers than those who retweeted due to local contagion.
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Network Analysis of Digital and Social Media, global contagion, local contagion, online social networks
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