Detecting pivotal points in social conflicts via topic modeling of twitter content

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4 Scopus citations


The linkages between intensity and topicality of online discussions, on one hand, and those of offline on-street political activity, on the other hand, have recently become a subject of studies around the world. But the results of quantitative assessment of causal relations between onsite and online activities of citizens are contradictory. In our research, we use conflicts with violent trig-gers and the subsequent lines of events that include street rallies, political manifestations, and/or peaceful mourning, as well as public political talk, to trace the pivotal points in the conflict via measuring Twitter content. We show that in some cases Granger test does not work well, like in the case of Cologne mass harassment, for detecting the causality between online and onsite activities. In order to suggest a way to qualitatively assess the linkages between online and offline activities of users, we deploy topic modeling and further qualitative assessment of the changes in the topicality to link the topic saliency to the time of offline events. We detect several periods with varying topicality and link them to what was going on in the offline conflict.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternet Science - INSCI 2018 International Workshops
Subtitle of host publicationConference proceedings
EditorsS. S. Bodrunova, et al.
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISBN (Print)9783030177041
StatePublished - 2019
Event5th International Conference on Internet Science (INSCI): Internet in World Regions: Digital Freedoms and Citizen Empowerment - СПбГУ, Институт "Высшая школа журналистики и массовых коммуникаций", St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
Duration: 24 Oct 201826 Oct 2018
Conference number: 5th

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference5th International Conference on Internet Science (INSCI)
Abbreviated title INSCI 2018
CountryRussian Federation
CitySt. Petersburg
Internet address

Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)


  • Granger test
  • Social conflicts
  • Spillover
  • Topic modeling
  • Twitter

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