Prof Alfred Hermida is presenting his latest research with Prof Candis Callison on the Idle No More movement at the Social Media & Society Conference in Toronto on Sept. 27.

The talk highlights how processes of networked gatekeeping shape the dissemination and representation of news and information on the movement on social media.

By analyzing nearly 750,000 tweets from November 2013 that used the hashtag #Idlenomore, they found while top actors by influence were institutional elites like mainstream journalists and celebrities, top influencers based on retweets reflected greater diversity.

Although Twitter imitates and replicates existing power structures in society by elevating those with influence through mainstream media, retweeting creates conditions for supplanting influencers when those in the network resonate with the articulations offered by alternative voices.