In this work we study a peculiar example of social organization on Facebook: the Occupy Movement -- i.e., an international protest movement against social and economic inequality organized online at a city level. We consider 179 US Facebook public pages during the time period between September 2011 and February 2013. The dataset includes 618K active users and 753K posts that received about 5.2M likes and 1.1M comments. By labeling user according to their interaction patterns on pages -- e.g., a user is considered to be polarized if she has at least the 95% of her likes on a specific page -- we find that activities are not locally coordinated by geographically close pages, but are driven by pages linked to major US cities that act as hubs within the various groups. Such a pattern is verified even by extracting the backbone structure -- i.e., filtering statistically relevant weight heterogeneities -- for both the pages-reshares and the pages-common users networks.
Structural Patterns of the Occupy Movement on Facebook
Michela Del Vicario, Qian Zhang, Alessandro Bessi, Fabiana Zollo, Antonio Scala, Guido Caldarelli, Walter Quattrociocchi
Via Complexity Digest