Social media network analysis of Smallholder livestock farming communities in the United Kingdom

Samuel Munaf*, Kevin Swingler, Franz Brulisauer, Anthony O'Hare, George Gunn, Aaron Reeves

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The creation of targeted policies and actions to help small-scale livestock keepers and reduce the risks associated with disease outbreaks in this sector is hampered by the scarcity of information about smallholder farmers. Smallholders play a crucial part in disease outbreaks containment, hence there is a need for better monitoring methods that take this population into account while gathering data. According to the literature, these communities frequently use social media as a channel for communication and information exchange. In this study we conducted social network analysis of an influential smallholder within the UK and visualised the user follower network. Additionally, we performed influential user analysis, Twitter user categorisation, and community detection to uncover more insights into the livestock farming networks. Our findings reveal distinct communities within the smallholder farming sector and identify influential users with the potential to impact information dissemination and animal health practices. The study also highlights the role of community structure in surveillance and control of animal diseases and emphasises the need for further research to refine our understanding of these communities and their unique characteristics. This work contributes to the growing body of literature on small-scale livestock farming in the UK and underscores the importance of incorporating smallholder communities into disease surveillance and control efforts.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23265
Issue number1
Early online date3 Dec 2023
Publication statusPrint publication - 15 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 The Authors


  • Information dispersion
  • Livestock farming
  • Smallholdings
  • network analysis
  • social media


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