Anticipated Shocks in Online Activity: Response Functions of Attention and Word-of-mouth Processes

Sebastian Stommel, David Garcia, Adiya Abisheva and Frank Schweitzer

Proceedings of the 8th ACM Conference on Web Science (2016)


We test the existence of anticipated shocks in online activity, a class of collective dynamics that does not fit in the state of the art theory on social response functions. We use data on shares and views to Youtube videos, measuring their time series to classify them according to their dynamical class. We find evidence of the existence of anticipated shocks, and that they are more likely to appear in word-of-mouth interaction than in attention dynamics. Our results show that not all exogenous events in online activity are unexpected, calling for new models that differentiate social interaction and attention dynamics.