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The Effects of Homophily in Twitter Communication Network of U.S. House Representatives: A Dynamic Network Study

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Abstract: By employing a recently developed dynamic network model (separable temporal exponential-family random graph model), we study the effects of homophily based on gender, race, and political party on formation and dissolution of Representatives’ Twitter communications in forms of mentions and retweets over a period of six month. Our results indicate the presence of demographic homophily and value homophily in Representatives’ Twitter communications networks. More importantly, we find that female Representatives and Representatives from minor ethnical groups have a high tendency in forming and persisting Twitter communications with similar Representatives. We also observe that homophily based on demographics such as gender and race is more effective in Mentions network while homophily based on political party is more dominant in Retweets network.

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