When Follow is Just One Click Away: Understanding Twitter Follow Behavior in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

  • Yu Wang
  • Jiebo Luo
  • Xiyang Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10539)


Motivated by the two paradoxical facts that the marginal cost of following one extra candidate is close to zero and that the majority of Twitter users choose to follow only one or two candidates, we study the Twitter follow behaviors observed in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Specifically, we complete the following tasks: (1) analyze Twitter follow patterns of the presidential election on Twitter, (2) use negative binomial regression to study the effects of gender and occupation on the number of candidates that one follows, and (3) use multinomial logistic regression to investigate the effects of gender, occupation and celebrities on the choice of candidates to follow.



We acknowledge support from the Department of Political Science at the University of Rochester, from the New York State through the Goergen Institute for Data Science, and from our corporate sponsors. We also thank the three anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laserlike Inc.Mountain ViewUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA
  3. 3.School of PsychologyBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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