#weAreMaunaKea: celebrity involvement in a protest movement

Wayne Buente, Chamil Rathnayake

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This study examines the involvement of celebrities in Twitter hashtag networks formed in relation to the protest of the construction of a thirty-meter telescope on Mauna Kea, a volcanic mountaintop that is considered as the most sacred of all peaks in the Hawai'ian islands. A network of 4151 Twitter users who used the hashtag #WeAreMaunaKea is used to examine celebrity involvement. Three network metrics (eigenvector centrality, betweenness centrality, and PageRank) were used to examine the prominence of actors in the network. The results show that three celebrities (Nicole Scherzinger, Kelly Slater, and Keahu Kahuanui) have considerable centrality in the network. The results also indicate a positive correlation between in-degree (prestige), out-degree (engagement), and the three metrics. However, the number of followers did not correlate with the centrality of actors. Nicole Scherzinger, who had higher in-degree and out-degree than the others dominated the network in terms of all three metrics. In general, the results indicated that both prestige and engagement matter in celebrity influence.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2016
EventiConference 2016 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Duration: 20 Mar 2016 → …


ConferenceiConference 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period20/03/16 → …
Internet address


  • Twitter
  • celebrity
  • centrality


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