The Spanish “Indignados” Movement: Time Dynamics, Geographical Distribution, and Recruitment Mechanisms
Online social networks have an enormous impact on opinions and cultural trends. Also, these platforms have been revealed as a fundamental organizing mechanism in country-wide social movements. Recent events in the Middle East and North Africa (the wave of protests in the Arab world), across Europe (in the form of anti-cuts demonstrations or riots) and in the United States have generated much discussion on how digital media is connected to the diffusion of protests. In this chapter, we investigate, from a complex network perspective, the mechanisms driving the emergence, development and stabilization of the “Indignados” movement in Spain, analyzing data from the period between April 25 and May 26, 2011. Using 70 keywords related to the movement, we analyze 581,749 Twitter messages coming from 87,569 users. The online trace of the 15M protests provides a unique opportunity to tackle central issues in the social network literature like recruitment patterns or information cascades. These findings shed light on the connection between online networks and social movements and offer an empirical test to elusive sociological questions about collective action.
KeywordsCollective Action Network Position Online Network Information Cascade Core User
J.B-H is partially supported by the Spanish MICINN through project FIS200801240. S.G-B. is partially supported by the Spanish MICINN projects CSO2009-09890 and CSD2010-00034. Y. M. is supported by the Spanish MICINN through projects FIS2008-01240 and FIS2009-13364-C02-01 and by the Government of Aragon (DGA) through the grant No. PI038/08.
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