Understanding and Identifying Advocates for Political Campaigns on Social Media Conference Paper uri icon


  • © 2016 ACM. Social media is increasingly being used to access and disseminate information on sociopolitical issues like gun rights and general elections. The popularity and openness of social media makes it conducive for some individuals, known as advocates, who use social media to push their agendas on these issues strategically. Identifying these advocates will caution social media users before reading their information and also enable campaign managers to identify advocates for their digital political campaigns. A significant challenge in identifying advocates is that they employ nuanced strategies to shape user opinion and increase the spread of their messages, making it difficult to distinguish them from random users posting on the campaign. In this paper, we draw from social movement theories and design a quantitative frame-work to study the nuanced message strategies, propagation strategies, and community structure adopted by advocates for political campaigns in social media. Based on observations of their social media activities manifesting from these strategies, we investigate how to model these strategies for identifying them. We evaluate the framework using two datasets from Twitter, and our experiments demonstrate its effectiveness in identifying advocates for political campaigns with ramifications of this work directed towards assisting users as they navigate through social media spaces.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ranganath, S., Hu, X., Tang, J., & Liu, H.

citation count

  • 12

publication date

  • January 2016


  • ACM  Publisher