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<nettime> Pricing a Protest: Forecasting the Dynamics of Civil Unrest Ac
nettime's dual-use researcher on Wed, 7 Oct 2015 17:39:08 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Pricing a Protest: Forecasting the Dynamics of Civil Unrest Activity



Online social media activity can often be a precursor to disruptive
events such as protests, strikes, and âoccupyâ movements. We have
observed that such civil unrest can galvanize supporters through
social networks and help recruit activists to their cause.
Understanding the dynamics of social network cascades and
extrapolating their future growth will enable an analyst to detect or
forecast major societal events. Existing work has primarily used
structural and temporal properties of cascades to predict their future
behavior. But factors like societal pressure, alignment of individual
interests with broader causes, and perception of expected benefits
also affect protest participation in social media. Here we develop an
analysis framework using a differential game theoretic approach to
characterize the cost of participating in a cascade, and demonstrate
how we can combine such cost features with classical properties to
forecast the future behavior of cascades. Using data from Twitter, we
illustrate the effectiveness of our models on the âBrazilian Springâ
and Venezuelan protests that occurred in June 2013 and November 2013,
respectively. We demonstrate how our framework captures both
qualitative and quantitative aspects of how these uprisings manifest
through the lens of tweet volume on Twitter social media.

Citation: Goode BJ, Krishnan S, Roan M, Ramakrishnan N (2015) Pricing
a Protest: Forecasting the Dynamics of Civil Unrest Activity in Social
Media. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0139911. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0139911

Funding: This work was supported by the Intelligence Advanced Research
Projects Activity (IARPA)

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