Expressing identity socially involves a balance between conformity and innovation. One can adopt existing labels to express belonging to a certain community or introduce new labels to express an individual sense of identity. In such a process of co-creation, the existing identity labels of a community shape one’s sense of identity, while individual expression changes that of a community. Social media has introduced new opportunities to study the expression of collective identity. Here we study the group behavior of individuals deﬁning their identities with hashtag self-labels in their Twitter proﬁles from mid-2017 through 2019. These timelines of personal self-labeling show behavior incorporating innovation, conservation, and social conformity when deﬁning self. We show that the collective co-labeling of popular concepts in the context of identity, such as #resist and #maga, follow the dynamics of a modiﬁed Yule-Simon model balancing novelty and conformity. The dynamics of identity expression resemble the collective tagging processes of folksonomies, indicating a similarity between the collective tagging of external objects and the collective labeling of ourselves. Our work underpins a better understanding of how online environments mediate the evolution of collective identity which plays an increasingly important role in the establishment of community values and identitymore »
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- CSCW’19 Companion
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 106 to 110
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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