This research in progress studies the role of social media as a resource for contemporary social movements in their endeavors to bring about social change. Current studies on this topic have largely regarded social media as an alternative channel for communicating situational information during protests against repressive regimes or perceptions of fraudulent democracy. Drawing on theories of resource mobilization and social networks, we present a framework for studying how the presence of influential and popular actors in social networks, can influence the acquisition process and the number of new followers by a social movement organization. We collected Twitter data for a major social movement organization in the global justice movement and found evidence suggesting that the existence of popular figures, impacts to some extent, the audience acquired by the social movement organization. We also conclude that the geographic location of these popular figures acts as a moderator for this effect. Our study lays the groundwork for answering questions regarding the sociotechnical dynamics that influence the propagation of ideologies in online environments promoted by groups and organizations concerned with societal issues

First Page


Last Page