Impact of Digital and Traditional Social Networks on Protest Campaigns: Agent-based Computational Experiments
The paper analyses the effects of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) on the protest campaign
outcomes in the presence of state repression. We study how various social network topologies work within the agent-based framework of our computational model of protest-repression nexus. Network architectures (“small world” and “preferential attachment”) and their combinations stand for the different communication environments. The latter include both online and offline ties, as Internet-based social media development does not eliminate offline links between people. Our special focus is the network topology which combines offline (“small world” without
homophily) and online networks (“preferential attachment” with high homophily). Results of computational experiments demonstrate that Internet-based social media ensure protest campaign survival at any level of repression severity, but lead to the decrease in participants number at high severity. At the same time in offline “small world” network repression boosts participation, but at high severity levels, it suppresses the protest wave completely.