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Investigating the structure and connectivity of online global protest networks

Investigating the structure and connectivity of online global protest networks

The rise of social networking tools, accompanied by the mass adoption of mobile devices, has strengthened the impact and broadened the reach of today’s political protests. OII researchers Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon and Ning Wang discuss their paper, ‘The Bridges and Brokers of Global Campaigns in the context of Social Media’, which investigates whether the ‘fluidity, horizontality and connectivity’ often claimed for online protest networks stands up to empirical scrutiny.

Why do (some) political protest mobilisations succeed?

Social media are helping researchers gain insights into how people self-organize, and how bottom-up dynamics facilitate or hinder the emergence of large political mobilisations. OII Research Fellow Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon discusses how the dynamics of message propagation and recruitment help explain why some mobilisations succeed, but most fail. This post draws on her article “From Chiapas to Tahrir: Networks and the Diffusion of Protest” (World Politics Review, 16 April 2013).

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Slicing digital data: methodological challenges in computational social science

It is easy to drown in digital data and not know what to do with it. OII Research Fellow Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon discusses some of the methodological challenges faced by social scientists when they try to make sense of the immense wealth of digital data available today. This is a talk given at the conference on new media and the social sciences, organised by the National Centre for Research Methods (29 May 2012).

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