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A computational study of how and why reddit.com was an effective platform in the campaign against SOPA

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Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the posting and voting activities of reddit’s users and show how these interact with the site’s structure to create an environment where information activists could build a resource base to oppose the 2012 US House of Representatives bill, Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA). The broadcasting function of the ‘Front Page’ was important in raising awareness of SOPA among reddit’s users. Broadcasting the outcomes of collective voting back to the voters establishes an attentional feedback loop, and this imbued the collective action which followed with certain characteristics. Continuing a longitudinal investigation into changes in the ways that user attention and activity is distributed between the site’s 240,000 ‘subreddits’, we conclude by theorizing whether such collective action will be possible on the reddit of the present.

Bibliographic note

No evidence provided. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20367-6_23