Removal of a Weak Tie Does More Damage to Diffusion Than a Strong Tie

The removal of the average weak tie does more damage than the removal of the average strong tie when it comes to diffusion of information in a social network. Often the shortest and only connection between different nodes in social network are weak ties.

Consider a rumor being spread only among a group of close friends (strong ties). It would invariably be heard multiple times from different close friends. Compare that to a rumor spread only through acquaintances (weak ties), it will spread much further because acquaintances act as bridges between groups that wouldn’t have been connected otherwise.

See also:

  • All Bridges Are Weak Ties

    When it comes to network diffusion of information or influence, all bridges (a line in a network graph that represents the only connection between two points) are weak ties.