Title

The Shaping of the Network Neutrality Debate: Information Subsidizers on Twitter

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 2015

Abstract

Drawing on the concept of information subsidy, this study explores the network neutrality debate in the context of Twitter. Content analysis of the top 150 most retweeted URLs demonstrates that the composition of information subsidizers on Twitter was more or less evenly divided among stakeholders, including government, industry, nonprofit/advocacy, and experts. Despite the diversity of sources, there was a clear lack of diversity in stance. The majority of sources displayed a favorable attitude toward net neutrality. Our findings highlight the potential of Twitter to represent the position of resource-poor information subsidizers, including advocacy groups, entrepreneurs, and race-based online communities, as they seek to uphold the neutrality of the Internet.