Scientific Reports

Dense and influential core promotion of daily viral information spread in political echo chambers

Kimitaka Asatani, Hiroko Yamano, Takeshi Sakaki & Ichiro Sakata


Despite the intensive study of the viral spread of fake news in political echo chambers (ECs) on social networking services (SNSs), little is known regarding the underlying structure of the daily information spread in these ECs. Moreover, the effect of SNSs on opinion polarisation is still unclear in terms of pluralistic information access or selective exposure to opinions in an SNS. In this study, we confirmed the steady, highly independent nature of left- and right-leaning ECs, both of which are composed of approximately 250,000 users, from a year-long reply/retweet network of 42 million Japanese Twitter users. We found that both communities have similarly efficient information spreading networks with densely connected and core-periphery structures. Core nodes resonate in the early stages of information cascades, and unilaterally transmit information to peripheral nodes. Each EC has resonant core users who amplify and steadily spread information to a quarter of a million users. In addition, we confirmed the existence of extremely aggressive users of ECs who co-reply/retweet each other. The connection between these users and top influencers suggests that the extreme opinions of the former group affect the entire community through the top influencers.