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Can Network Help Chinese Microblogs Diffuse? Analyzing 118 Networks of Reposts About Social Issues in China

  • King-wa Fu
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8531)

Abstract

The use of microblog, i.e. Twitter, in politics and social issues has been broadly studied. But research into the role of microblog in China’s unique socio-political context is still limited and empirical data remain inadequate. In this study, we conceptualize the process of diffusion of microblogs in China as a “social network” and deploy social network analysis to operationalize the network characteristics of such process. Using Sina Weibo’s Open API, we collected 118 networks of reposts related to various social issues in China. While our findings describe the network characteristics of the samples, we reveal that decentralized network is a key contributing factor for diffusion of microblogs in China. The implication of the result is then discussed.

Keywords

China microblog social network analysis information diffusion 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • King-wa Fu
    • 1
  1. 1.Journalism and Media Studies CentreUniversity of Hong KongHong Kong

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