Exploring Symbolic Representation of Identity and Collective Behavior in Social Media: Emoji Use in Twitter



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Social media is ubiquitous in the world today; however, analysis of social media typically focuses on content, activity patterns of users, and online communities arising from networks of interactions. With the development of computer mediated communication, emojis are now a part of the digital language of social media, yet emojis are often overlooked in social media analysis. Building on existing computational social science research, this dissertation adds new knowledge by focusing more directly on the behavior of emoji use in social media. This analysis reveals how emojis provide intrinsic cues about individual identity and collective behavior, and contributes novel methodologies that can be used to analyze and compare emoji use across users and in documents regardless of the language of accompanying text.