The effect of gossip on social networks

Allison K. Shaw, Milena Tsvetkova, Roozbeh Daneshvar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this article, we develop a simple model for the effect of gossip spread on social network structure. We define gossip as information passed between two individuals A and B about a third individual C which affects the strengths of all three relationships: it strengthens A-B and weakens both B-C and A-C. We find, in both an analytic derivation and model simulations, that if gossip does not spread beyond simple triads, it destroys them but if gossip propagates through large dense clusters, it strengthens them. Additionally, our simulations show that the effect of gossip on network metrics (clustering coefficient, average-path-length, and sum-of-strengths) varies with network structure and average-node-degree.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalComplexity
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Keywords

  • Gossip
  • Network dynamics
  • Small-world networks
  • Social networks

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