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Document Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Emerging cyber-collective social movements (CSMs) have frequently made headlines in the news. Despite their popularity, there is a lack of systematic methodologies to empirically study such movements in complex online environments. Using the Al-Huwaider online campaign as a case to illustrate our methodology, this contribution attempts to establish a rigorous and fundamental analysis that explains CSMs. We collected 150 blogs from 17 countries ranging between April 2003 and July 2010 with a special focus on Al-Huwaider’s campaigns capturing multi-cultural aspects for our analysis. Bearing the analysis upon three central tenets of individual, community, and transnational perspectives, we develop novel algorithms modeling CSMs by utilizing existing collective action theories and computational social network analysis. This article contributes a methodology to study the diffusion of issues in social networks and examines roles of influential community members. The proposed methodology provides a rigorous tool to understand the complexity and dynamics of CSMs. Such methodology also assists us in observing the transcending nature of CSMs with future possibilities for modeling transnational outreach. Our study addresses the lack of fundamental research on the formation of CSMs. This research contributes novel methodologies that can be applied to many settings including business, marketing and many others, beyond the exemplary setting chosen here for illustrative purposes.

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