On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Soon on Twitter, a debate between pro gun and anti gun groups unveiled.

Here we present the dynamics of those two groups on a weekly basis, using state-of-the-art data mining, data visualization, community detection and Twitter bot detection algorithms.

All graphs here show the tweet-retweet relationship of data collected from that week. Each node represents a Twitter user, and two nodes are connected if one retweets from another. Anti gun group is colored green, and pro gun is colored red.

We hope our work can inform you, your friends, and the public.


Anti gun group, lead by students and activists, had strong support from most news media.

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More activists joined anti gun group. News media became polarized.

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More celebrities and journalists joined anti gun group, further enlarging its network.

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Here we saw a major shift of the dynamics of two groups. For the first time, the size of pro gun group started to grow. Liberals, political commentators joined pro gun group.

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Pro gun group kept growing, with an emergence of influential bot or cyborg accounts.

Anti gun group kept shrinking. Some influential accounts are journalists, reporters and writers.

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Anti gun group was losing ground, while pro gun group remained strong.

Most news media had faded away at this point.

Bots jumped in: 63% normal bots (light red) and 93% influential bots (red) are from pro gun group.

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Now it's time to take action and to spread the word.

Connect to your local senators, congressmen and congresswomen who participated in the gun control debate.


Zhouhan Chen

Dapeng Shan

Mari Sato

Advisor: Professor Devika Subramanian

Copyright © 2018