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Analysis of cyberactivism: A case study of online free Tibet activities

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2 Author(s)
Tianjun Fu ; Artificial Intell. Lab., Arizona Univ., Tempe, AZ ; Hsinchun Chen

Cyberactivism refers to the use of the Internet to advocate vigorous or intentional actions to bring about social or political change. Cyberactivism analysis aims to improve the understanding of cyber activists and their online communities. In this paper, we present a case study of online Free Tibet activities. For web site analysis, we use the inlink and outlink information of five selected seed URLs to construct the network of Free Tibet web sites. The network shows the close relationships between our five seed sites. Centrality measures reveal that tibet.org is probably an information hub site in the network. Further content analysis tells us that common hub site words are most popular in tibet.org whereas dalailama.com focuses mostly on religious words. For forum analysis, descriptive statistics such as the number of posts each month and the post distribution of forum users illustrate that the two large forums FreeTibetAndYou and RFAnews-Tibbs have experienced significant reduction in activities in recent years and that a small percentage of their users contribute the majority of posts. Important phrases of several long threads and active forum users are identified by using mutual information and TF-IDF scores. Such topical analyses help us understand the topics discussed in the forums and the ideas and interest of those forum users. Finally, social network analyses of the forum users are conducted to reflect their interactions and the social structure of their online communities.

Published in:

Intelligence and Security Informatics, 2008. ISI 2008. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

17-20 June 2008