Content and Network Dynamics Behind Egyptian Political Polarization on Twitter

Javier Borge-Holthoefer, Walid Magdy, Kareem Darwish, Ingmar Weber
2015 Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing - CSCW '15  
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
more » ... on, 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.
doi:10.1145/2675133.2675163 dblp:conf/cscw/Borge-Holthoefer15 fatcat:6mjfxenwbfbrfczmaeckwlyp5m