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Rising Tides or Rising Stars?: Dynamics of Shared Attention on Twitter during Media Events

Figure 2

Lorentz curves for cumulative degree distributions of activity.

(a,c) The out- and in-degree Lorenz curves for the networks of replies. (b,d) The out- and in-degree Lorenz curves for the networks of retweets (RT). Increasing equality converges toward diagonal line from the origin to the upper-right and increasing inequality converges toward a hyperbola rising to 100% of volume at the percentile. The out-degrees of activity networks (a,b) show significant similarities across the four event types and comparatively high levels of concentrated activity. The in-degrees show more substantial differences between event types. The convention and debate media events drove increased concentration of reply activity (c) around top users as compared to pre-events and news events. In retweet network (d), the top 25% of users' tweets accounted for approximately 75% of all retweet activity, indicating users' behavior under conditions of shared attention become increasingly concentrated around elites rather than increasingly distributed across many users. (PRE: pre-debate baseline; NEWS: Benghazi attack and 47% controversy; CONV: Republican and Democratic Natl Conv; DEB: presidential debates).

Figure 2