Distributed gatekeeping. Uncovering the patterns of linking behaviors on Facebook


  • Wojciech Walczak Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
  • Michał Meina Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
  • Krzysztof Olechnicki Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń




gatekeeping, social networking sites, sharing links, Facebok, computer-mediated communication


Based on an analysis of 770,269 links posted by 1,969 Polish Facebook users, the present article investigates how the users’ characteristics influence their link-sharing behaviors, and how these characteristics are related to social rewards received for posting links. Male users, older ones and inhabitants of larger cities tend to link more to politics-related news they also receive more social feedback for doing that while female users, younger ones and inhabitants of smaller locations tend to link more to entertainment-related sites. The cluster analysis of linking strategies of Facebook users suggests that the most common behavior is to provide a mixture of news and entertainment-related links, although pure “news-keeper” and “entertainment-keeper” types of users are distinguishable.

Author Biographies

Wojciech Walczak, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

Wojciech Walczak is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Sociology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń, Poland. A sociologist and data analyst, his sociological research interests revolve around digital media’s impact on society, as well as social and socio-digital inequalities. Professionally, he is a software engineer focused on text processing and machine learning.

Michał Meina, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

Michał Meina is a Research Assistant at the Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Informatics, NCU Toruń. His research interests intersect a variety of fields in Computer Science: data mining and machine learning, body sensor networks, databases and stream processing. He is actively involved in many interdisciplinary projects.

Krzysztof Olechnicki, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń

Krzysztof Olechnicki is an Associate Professor and Head of The Section of Cultural Studies in the Institute of Sociology at the NCU in Toruń, and also President of The Jan Mylius Scientific Society of Elbląg. His major research areas include sociology of internet, sociology of religion, visual sociology and new social movements.


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How to Cite

Walczak, W., Meina, M., & Olechnicki, K. (2017). Distributed gatekeeping. Uncovering the patterns of linking behaviors on Facebook . Central European Journal of Communication, 10(1(18), 14-31. https://doi.org/10.19195/1899-5101.10.1(18).2



Scientific Papers