Evolution of the plandemic communication network among serial participants on Twitter

Yu Xu*, Yao Sun, Loni Hagen, Mihir Patel, Mary Falling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by the spread of misinformation on social media. The Plandemic conspiracy theory holds that the pandemic outbreak was planned to create a new social order. This study examines the evolution of this popular conspiracy theory from a dynamic network perspective. Guided by the analytical framework of network evolution, the current study explores drivers of tie changes in the Plandemic communication network among serial participants over a 4-month period. Results show that tie changes are explained by degree-based and closure-based structural features (i.e. tendencies toward transitive closure and shared popularity and tendencies against in-degree activity and transitive reciprocated triplet) and nodal attributes (i.e. bot probability and political preference). However, a participant’s level of anger expression does not predict the evolution of the observed network.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalNew Media and Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Communication networks
  • Plandemic
  • RSiena
  • misinformation
  • network analysis
  • online discussion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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