Strategic Information Release on a Communication Network

We analyse a game in which a sender chooses a point of release for information on a communication network. The information then travels through the network to receivers, acquiring noise. We show with quadratic loss preferences the sender wants to provide information to the most central receiver if preferences are sufficiently aligned, else they want to provide information to the least central receiver. In contrast we show with heterogeneous receiver preferences it may remain optimal for the sender to link to the most central receiver even when all receivers on the network are very misaligned with the sender. In a setting with two competing senders, we show that a sender whose preferences are misaligned with receivers may find it optimal to imitate the link formation decision of the other sender, even if this implies linking to the most central receiver.