The Influence of Interdependence in Networked Publics Spheres: How Community-Level Interactions Affect the Evolution of Topics in Online Discourse

Aimei Yang, Ian Myoungsu Choi, Andres Abeliuk, Adam Saffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Political discussions online, especially those in the United States, seem to range between harmonious discussions of likeminded people and heated debates that end with few, if any, who have changed their minds. Researchers have often examined these balkanized/polarized situations by studying online communities as isolated echo chambers of opinion. Our study focuses on the interactions between online communities who have different worldviews. We examine communities engaged in the global refugee crisis. We consider how the inter-community interactions influence the agenda of the respective communities. Our longitudinal analysis on the one hand confirms previous studies, namely that intra-community interactions indeed resemble echo chambers. On the other hand, we also find that there is interdependence in the inter-community discussion topics, albeit some communities had greater influence on other communities’ discussion topics. For example, larger, more stable communities command more influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-166
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Computer-Mediated Communication
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Community-Level Interaction
  • Cyberbalkanization
  • Dynamic Topic Modeling
  • Network Analysis
  • Networked Public Spheres
  • Twitter Discourse

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