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A community role approach to assess social capitalists visibility in the Twitter network

  • Nicolas DuguéEmail author
  • Vincent Labatut
  • Anthony Perez
Original Article

Abstract

In the context of Twitter, social capitalists are specific users trying to increase their number of followers and interactions by any means. These users are not healthy for the service, because they are either spammers or real users flawing the notions of influence and visibility. Studying their behavior and understanding their position in Twitter is thus of important interest. It is also necessary to analyze how these methods effectively affect user visibility. Based on a recently proposed method allowing to identify social capitalists, we tackle both points by studying how they are organized, and how their links spread across the Twitter follower–followee network. To that aim, we consider their position in the network w.r.t. its community structure. We use the concept of community role of a node, which describes its position in a network depending on its connectivity at the community level. However, the topological measures originally defined to characterize these roles consider only certain aspects of the community-related connectivity, and rely on a set of empirically fixed thresholds. We first show the limitations of these measures, before extending and generalizing them. Moreover, we use an unsupervised approach to identify the roles, in order to provide more flexibility relatively to the studied system. We then apply our method to the case of social capitalists and show they are highly visible on Twitter, due to the specific roles they hold.

Keywords

Twitter Social network Social capitalism Influence Community roles 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicolas Dugué
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vincent Labatut
    • 2
  • Anthony Perez
    • 1
  1. 1.Université d’Orléans, LIFO EA 4022OrléansFrance
  2. 2.Université d’Avignon, LIA EA 4128AvignonFrance

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