Evolution of the plandemic communication network among serial participants on Twitter
The coronavirus pandemic has been accompanied by the spread of misinformation on social media. The Plandemic conspiracy theory holds that the pandemic outbreak was planned to create a new social order. This study examines the evolution of this popular conspiracy theory from a dynamic network perspective. Guided by the analytical framework of network evolution, the current study explores drivers of tie changes in the Plandemic communication network among serial participants over a 4-month period. Results show that tie changes are explained by degree-based and closure-based structural features (i.e. tendencies toward transitive closure and shared popularity and tendencies against in-degree activity and transitive reciprocated triplet) and nodal attributes (i.e. bot probability and political preference). However, a participant’s level of anger expression does not predict the evolution of the observed network.