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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7551/978-0-262-32621-6-ch126
Pages 778-784
First published 30 July 2014

Twitter as Social Sensor: Dynamics and Structure in Major Sporting Events

Yuki Takeichi, Kazutoshi Sasahara, Reiji Suzuki and Takaya Arita

Abstract (Excerpt)

Twitter often behaves like a "social sensor" in which users actively sense real-world events and spontaneously mention these events in cyberspace. Here, we study the temporal dynamics and structural properties of Twitter as a social sensor in major sporting events. By examining Japanese professional baseball games, we found that Twitter as a social sensor can immediately show reactions to positive and negative events by a burst of tweets, but only positive events induce a burst of retweets to follow. In addition, retweet networks during the baseball games exhibit clear polarization in user clusters depending on baseball teams, as well as a scale-free in-degree distribution. These empirical findings provide mechanistic insights into the emergence and evolution of social sensors.