In the world of Facebook, users are either kings or lemmings.
That’s the conclusion of a new study, the largest to analyse how information spreads across social networks-and who does the spreading.
The debate about how ideas, opinions, and behaviours radiate within groups of people goes back decades. According to the so-called influentials hypothesis, made popular by books such as The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, a small number of highly influential people drive most of the spread. For example, if the popular kids in a high school get iPhones and all the other kids soon follow, the hypothesis says that it was because of the sway of the cool kids.
But critics counter that influential individuals play only a minor role, and what matters is whether people are susceptible to the new idea… Read more