Content and Network Dynamics Behind Egyptian Political Polarization on Twitter

Javier Borge-Holthoefer, Walid Magdy, Kareem Darwish, Ingmar Weber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

There is little doubt about whether social networks play a role in modern protests. This agreement has triggered an entire research avenue, in which social structure and content analysis have been central - but are typically exploited separately.

Here, we combine these two approaches to shed light on the opinion evolution dynamics in Egypt during the summer of 2013 along two axes (Islamist/Secularist, pro/anti-military intervention). We intend to find traces of opinion changes in Egypt's population, paralleling those in the international community - which oscillated from sympathetic to condemnatory as civil clashes grew. We find little evidence of people "switching" sides but observe clear changes in volume with both pro- and anti-military camps becoming more active at different stages.

Our work contributes new insights into the dynamics of large protest movements, specially in the aftermath of the main events - rather unattended previously. It questions the standard narrative concerning a simplistic mapping between Secularist/pro-military and Islamist/anti-military. Finally, our conclusions provide empirical validation to sociological models regarding the behavior of individuals in conflictive contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work 38; Social Computing
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherACM
Pages700-711
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-2922-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015

Publication series

NameCSCW '15
PublisherACM

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