Category Archives: News

AI, Society and Organizations

On the 7th of March 2019, CNETS Professor Luis Rocha will participate in a panel organized by Nova SBE’s Executive Education, Instituto Gulbenkian da Ciência and ISI Foundation with the theme of AI, society and organisations: experiences from applied projects in governments, companies and NGO’s, where the role of data science in today’s world will be discussed.

Other guest speakers, include Rayid Ghani, director of the Center for Data Science and Public Policy in the University of Chicago, founder of the Data Science for Social Good fellowship and Chief Scientist at the Obama for America 2012, Daniela Paolotti, Ciro Cattuto, Joana Gonçalves-Sá and Leid Zejnilovic.

CNeTS member provides expertise on misinformation battle at AAAS conference

Fil Menczer

Filippo Menczer, a professor of computer science and informatics at CNetS, appeared on a panel of experts to discuss the emergence and dissemination of misinformation, and how it threatens society at the annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., Feb. 15.

Menczer was a part of a three-person panel and presented a talk, “Eight Ways Social Media Makes Society Vulnerable to Misinformation.” The talk provided an overview of ongoing network analytics, modeling, and machine learning efforts to study the viral spread of misinformation and to develop tools for countering the online manipulation of opinions. Menczer has previously developed systems such as Botometer, which detects social media bots, and Hoaxy, which maps the diffusion of low-credibility content.

Continue reading CNeTS member provides expertise on misinformation battle at AAAS conference

Bollen social media study shows how affect labeling can help moderate emotions

Your mother always told you that if something was bothering you, you should talk about it. It would make you feel better. Turns out she was right, and researchers at the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering have the science to prove it. Johan Bollen, a professor of informatics and computing, leads a team that analyzed the Twitter feeds of tens of thousands of users to study how emotions change before and after they were explicitly stated. In the study, “The minute-scale dynamics of online emotions reveal the effects of affect labeling,” published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, Bollen and his colleagues used algorithms to measure how the positivity or negativity of tweets change before or after a user explicitly expressed having an emotion, e.g. saying “I feel bad” or “I feel good.” Their study not only reveals how emotions evolve over time, but also how their expression may change them, and how these changes differ between men and women.

Continue reading Bollen social media study shows how affect labeling can help moderate emotions

Twitter bots play disproportionate role spreading misinformation

Analysis by CNetS researchers of information shared on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election has found that social bots played a disproportionate role in spreading misinformation online. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, analyzed 14 million messages and 400,000 articles shared on Twitter between May 2016 and March 2017 — a period that spans the end of the 2016 presidential primaries and the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. Among the findings: A mere 6 percent of Twitter accounts that the study identified as bots were enough to spread 31 percent of the low-credibility information on the network. These accounts were also responsible for 34 percent of all articles shared from low-credibility sources. The study also found that bots played a major role promoting low-credibility content in the first few moments before a story goes viral. Continue reading Twitter bots play disproportionate role spreading misinformation

Team led by Luis Rocha awarded NIH grant to improve chronic-disease management with Data and Network Science

Luis M. RochaThe National Institutes of Health, under the National Library of Medicine’s program on data science research, awarded a $1.55 million grant to an interdisciplinary team lead by Luis Rocha, a professor of informatics, member of CNETS and the director of the NSF-NRT complex networks & systems program at the School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering. The four-year project, a collaboration between SICE and the Indiana University School of Nursing, will employ innovative data- and network-science methods to produce myAURA, an easy-to-use web service for epilepsy patients. myAURA will be based on a large-scale epilepsy knowledge graph built by integrating data from social media, electronic health records, patient discussion boards, scientific literature databases, advocacy websites, and mobile app data. The knowledge graph will, in turn, be used to fuel recommendation and visualization algorithms based on the automatic inference of relevant associations. The inference will follow algorithms developed by Rocha’s team to remove redundancy and extract factual information from large knowledge graphs as well as parsimonious network visualizations developed by Katy Börner, Distinguished Professor of Engineering & Information Science at SICE.  Continue reading Team led by Luis Rocha awarded NIH grant to improve chronic-disease management with Data and Network Science

CNetS grad honored with 2018 University Distinguished Ph.D. Dissertation Award

Onur VarolOnur Varol, a postdoctoral research associate at Northeastern University who earned his Ph.D. in Informatics from CNetS, has been honored with the University Distinguished Ph.D. Dissertation Award for 2018, which is the highest honor for research Indiana University bestows on its graduate students. “I am extremely happy to receive this award,” Varol said. “I would like to especially thank my advisor, Filippo Menczer, and the Informatics department for nominating me. I was lucky to be surrounded by the best advisors, collaborators, and research group I could imagine during my doctoral studies, and I am a proud IU alumni and a Hoosier.” Varol’s dissertation, “Analyzing Social Big Data to Study Online Discourse and Its Manipulation,” provided insights into analysis of online conversations and mechanisms used for their manipulation. Varol built machine learning frameworks like Botometer to detect social bots. More…

CNetS grad combats the spread of fake news with new mobile app

The spread of fake news is no game, but to recent CNetS graduate Mihai Avram, a game just might be the solution. As a graduate student in CNetS, Avram developed a mobile app called Fakey to help combat the spread of fake news on social media. It is available to download for both Android and iOS. The news literacy game places users in a simulated social media environment where they can share, “like” or fact-check articles. Users are given feedback for their actions and earn points if they share stories from legitimate news sources, or if they fact-check articles from low-credibility sources. More…

3 new tools to study and counter online disinformation

Researchers at CNetS, IUNI, and the Indiana University Observatory on Social Media have launched upgrades to two tools playing a major role in countering the spread of misinformation online: Hoaxy and Botometer.  A third tool Fakey — an educational game designed to make people smarter news consumers — also launches with the upgrades. Continue reading 3 new tools to study and counter online disinformation