Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Library and information Science


College of Information and Communications

First Advisor

David R. Lankes


Social media has increased the availability of abundant user interaction data. Technology-mediated social participation tools like Twitter can inform us about collective actions and social movement mobilization. Current focus of social media and social movement research are on usage and impact of technology during historical uprisings. But online social networks are participatory mediums, and filled up with multi-dimensional user interactions, which requires more concrete attentions and need investigations at granular levels. Moreover, limited attention has been paid on how activists develop online social networks. This study stressed on Twitter’s ability of helping in making sense of online debates and present meaningful descriptions about social events. It focused on a specific social media movement and investigated on what were protesters’ behaviors and opinions on Twitter, the structures of their online networks, leadership roles, and information diffusion patterns. This study took mixed methods approach with combination of sentiment analysis, content analysis, social network analysis, and time series analysis. During the social movement, people’s sentiment took a range of emotional levels including anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise, and trust. Their opinions expressed political biasness. The study revealed that protesters broadcast information worldwide, and during digital activism they formed leaderships even on Twitter’s horizontal structural platform. Twitter activists exposed a long-tail information sharing culture. Strong-ties formed small-world network while weak-ties stayed on peripheries.


© 2017, Md Hassan Zamir