Emergent Collaboration on Twitter: A Case Study of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

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This paper explores the organizing elements that foster emergent collaboration within large-scale communities on online social platforms like Twitter. This study is based on a case study of the #BlackLivesMatter social movement and draws on organizing dynamics and online social network literature, combined with the analysis of 2050 tweets collected from days where the movement had high levels of activity. Drawing on the literature review, we propose a framework consisting of three organizing elements: structure, engagement, and communicative content that are essential in analyzing online collaboration. This paper uses this framework to analyze the collected tweets and identify how actors organize and engage in large-scale communities founded by emergent online collaboration. This paper identifies characteristics of how these key elements and a dynamic interplay between the two logics of action foster emergent collaboration in social movements using Twitter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2018
Number of pages10
Place of PublicationHonolulu
PublisherHawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS)
Publication date2018
ISBN (Print)9780998133119
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventThe 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. HICSS 2018 - Waikoloa Village, United States
Duration: 3 Jan 20186 Jan 2018
Conference number: 51


ConferenceThe 51st Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. HICSS 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWaikoloa Village
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences


  • Social movements and social technologies
  • #BlackLivesMatter movement
  • Collective action
  • Connective action
  • Emergent collaboration
  • Twitter

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