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In this study we investigate how social media shape the networked public sphere and facilitate communication between communities with different political orientations. We examine two networks of political communication on Twit-ter, comprised of more than 250,000 tweets from the six weeks leading up to the 2010 U.S. congressional midterm elections. Using a(More)
—The widespread adoption of social media for political communication creates unprecedented opportunities to monitor the opinions of large numbers of politically active individuals in real time. However, without a way to distinguish between users of opposing political alignments, conflicting signals at the individual level may, in the aggregate, obscure(More)
We investigate the predictability of successful memes using their early spreading patterns in the underlying social networks. We propose and analyze a comprehensive set of features and develop an accurate model to predict future popularity of a meme given its early spreading patterns. Our paper provides the first comprehensive comparison of existing(More)
The wide adoption of social media has increased the competition among ideas for our finite attention. We employ a parsimonious agent-based model to study whether such a competition may affect the popularity of different memes, the diversity of information we are exposed to, and the fading of our collective interests for specific topics. Agents share(More)
Web 2.0 applications have attracted a considerable amount of attention because their open-ended nature allows users to create lightweight semantic scaffolding to organize and share content. To date, the interplay of the social and semantic components of social media has been only partially explored. Here we focus on Flickr and Last.fm, two social media(More)
Social bookmarking systems are becoming increasingly important data sources for bootstrapping and maintaining Semantic Web applications. Their emergent information structures have become known as folksonomies. A key question for harvesting semantics from these systems is how to extend and adapt traditional notions of similarity to folksonomies, and which(More)
We study astroturf political campaigns on microblogging platforms: politically-motivated individuals and organizations that use multiple centrally-controlled accounts to create the appearance of widespread support for a candidate or opinion. We describe a machine learning framework that combines topological, content-based and crowdsourced features of(More)
Topical crawlers are becoming important tools to support applications such as specialized Web portals, online searching, and competitive intelligence. As the Web mining field matures, the disparate crawling strategies proposed in the literature will have to be evaluated and compared on common tasks through well-defined performance measures. This paper(More)
Online social media are complementing and in some cases replacing person-to-person social interaction and redefining the diffusion of information. In particular, microblogs have become crucial grounds on which public relations, marketing, and political battles are fought. We demonstrate a web service that tracks political memes in Twitter and helps detect(More)