This month: April 2020
Influencers and targets on social media: Investigating the impact of network homogeneity and group identification on online influence
This study identifies social media users who aim to influence others and those who have experienced influencing behavior targeted at them. It investigates how influential users and targets of influence differ with respect to their demographic backgrounds and how group identification, network homogeneity, and size of the social network affect online influence. The data was based on a large-scale survey of Finns (N=2,761). Young and highly educated Finnish men were more likely to be targets of influence, but the demographic differences were less obvious with regard to influencing behavior. Moreover, group identification was a significant factor underpinning online influence for both influencing behavior and target experiences.
   
Also this month
Who bypasses the Great Firewall in China?
The blockage of foreign Web sites, which is often called the “Great Firewall (GFW)”, serves an important part of the Internet censorship in mainland China. This study investigated the possibility of bypassing the GFW in mainland China, and the possible difference in some “capital-enhancing” uses of the Internet (using the Internet for work, learning and political expression) between GFW-bypassing netizens and those still suffering from strict Internet censorship. This study used data from the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS). Although there is no direct measurement of netizens’ GFW bypassing, a variable measuring the ownership of Facebook accounts was used as a proxy of the status of GFW bypassing. Mainland Chinese netizens who can bypass Internet censorship and access blocked foreign Web sites are more socio-economically better off (higher social class, well-educated and urban residing) and younger than those with restricted access.