Communication in Online Social Networks Fosters Cultural Isolation

Marijn A. Keijzer*, Michael Mäs, Andreas Flache

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

24 Citaten (Scopus)
329 Downloads (Pure)


Online social networks play an increasingly important role in communication between friends, colleagues, business partners, and family members. This development sparked public and scholarly debate about how these new platforms affect dynamics of cultural diversity. Formal models of cultural dissemination are powerful tools to study dynamics of cultural diversity but they are based on assumptions that represent traditional dyadic, face-To-face communication, rather than communication in online social networks. Unlike in models of face-To-face communication, where actors update their cultural traits after being influenced by one of their network contacts, communication in online social networks is often characterized by a one-To-many structure, in that users emit messages directly to a large number of network contacts. Using analytical tools and agent-based simulation, we show that this seemingly subtle difference can have profound implications for emergent dynamics of cultural dissemination. In particular, we show that within the framework of our model online communication fosters cultural diversity to a larger degree than offline communication and it increases chances that individuals and subgroups become culturally isolated from their network contacts.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's18
StatusPublished - 2018


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