Why vocal minority dominate Chinese microblog discussions: the influence of status difference
by Jun Liu; Pei-Luen Patrick Rau; Na Chen
International Journal of Mobile Communications (IJMC), Vol. 14, No. 2, 2016

Abstract: Discussions on Chinese microblog space are often dominated by a few users who occupy higher-status positions compared to the silent majority. In this study, we examined the effects of status differences on the discussion motivation and leadership in a Chinese microblog site. An online experiment was conducted by inviting 16 sophomores (low status) and 16 senior (high status) students to a two-week microblog discussion. The results revealed that low-status users were more motivated by personal benefits than high-status users. High-status users were more likely to be nominated as group leaders, although they did not show more leadership behaviours. Through these findings, we explain why the high-status minority dominate Chinese microblogs and provide suggestions for encouraging more diverse voices.

Online publication date: Thu, 25-Feb-2016

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