In total there are 3,012,350 unique twitter users who follow at least one professor covered by the census. That’s a substantial increase from the just over 1.7 million of last year. That said, the census has grown to cover 1310 individuals now, up about 19% since last year.
Perhaps more interestingly, the network density—measuring the extent to which professors follow one another on twitter—has increased from 0.068 to 0.073. That is to say, about 7.3% of all possible following ties in the network are present, and more of those ties exist this year than did last year. As social networks grow one generally expects to see lower density. So the fact that density has increased while the number of nodes also grew substantially suggests law profs have continued to add new following relations at a considerable pace.
Top-20 law profs by total followers:
Top-20 by number of other law profs following:
|Daniel B. Rodriguez
|David A. Hoffman
Top-20 schools based on the number of law prof follower sums
Last year at about the time of the census, there was considerable discussion about gender and attention on twitter. Indeed, last year female profs tended to be followed by fewer profs than males. This year, at least within the law prof community, that difference has disappeared. There is no difference in average number of law prof followers by gender. That said, there are still substantial differences in the average number of non-prof followers by gender.
As always, this process is imperfect. The census relies on self-reporting and is thus incomplete. If a user isn’t listed in the census they’re not in the network. There were also about 80 handles in the census that threw errors of various types when trying to get their data via the Twitter API. Errors included: no such user, user suspended, or private profile. I did little to no data cleaning from the original census data, so if schools are represented with multiple names or there were typos in the input data those issues remain. Raw data available for download here, network data available on request: https://ryanwhalen.com/law_prof_twittersphere_2019/prof_twitter_data_final.csv.