Homophily in the Guise of Cross-Linking: Political Blogs and Content

Karine Nahon, Jeff Hemsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This study examines the behavior of influential political blogs (conservative and liberal) in reference to external viral content during March 2007 and June 2009. We analyze homophily and cross-ideological (heterophily) practices. We propose a multidimensional model that employs both qualitative and quantitative methods for examining homophily behaviors by looking at three dimensions: blog-to-blog, blog-to-video, blog post-to-video. Findings show that while homophily patterns prevail, some limited occurrences of cross-ideological practices exist. The cross-linking practices may include deliberative motives, but in essence they are not created for the purposes of discourse. Instead, these cross-linking practices strengthen previously held political stances of the users who create them and negatively portray and reframe content of alternative views. This represents homophily in the guise of cross-linking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1294-1313
Number of pages20
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • homophily
  • influence
  • information flows
  • political blogs
  • social media
  • social networks
  • viral videos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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