I am a Professor of Informatics and Computer Science at the Indiana University School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, director of the Observatory on Social Media, and a member (and former director) of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research. I also have courtesy appointments in Cognitive Science and Physics, serve on the advisory board of the IU Network Science Institute (IUNI), and am a Fellow of the Center for Computer-Mediated Communication, a Senior Research Fellow of the Kinsey Institute, and a Fellow at the ISI Foundation in Torino, Italy.
Research in my group, NaN, spans computational social science, network science, Web science, and data science, with a focus on analyzing and modeling the spread of information and misinformation in social networks and detecting and countering the manipulation of social media. We also study social computing, Web search and data mining, and science of science.
My calendar is a bit crowded. You may schedule an appointment with Tara Holbrook, our center’s coordinator. Or you can try your luck by Doodle MeetMe, email, phone (+1-812-856-1377), or in person (Informatics East room 314).
Prospective students interested in joining my group, NaN, should look at this advice before contacting me. Then, if still interested, they should apply to one of our PhD programs: Informatics (Complex Networks & Systems track), Computer Science, Cognitive Science, or a combination. Check out the new NSF-Funded Interdisciplinary Training Program in Complex Networks and Systems! I am usually unable to respond to inquiries from prospective students unless they have already been admitted to one of these programs.
Indiana University will establish a $6 million research center to study the role of media and technology in society. With leadership by CNetS faculty, the Observatory on Social Media will investigate how information and misinformation spread online. It will also provide students, journalists and citizens with resources, data and training to identify and counter attempts to intentionally manipulate public opinion. Major support for the center comes from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which will contribute $3 million, as well as funds from the university. The center is a collaboration between the IU School of (Read more ...)
UPDATE: This paper is ranked #3 most read among all articles published by Nature Communications in 2018
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 (Read more ...)
Congratulations to Clayton A. Davis, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation titled "Collect, Count, and Compare": Expanding Access and Scope of Social Media Analysis. Dr. Davis work explored ways to facilitate research using massive social data through tools that are friendly for non-technical users, robust to manipulation by social bots, and that offer strict anonymity guarantees. His work has been featured on the cover of Communications of the ACM and quoted in top worldwide media venues. Web interfaces for his projects, including Botometer, Kinsey Reporter, and the Observatory on Social Media, have (Read more ...)
Congratulations to Dimitar Nikolov, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation on Information Exposure Biases in Online Behaviors. Dr. Nikolov s research explored the unintentional biases introduced by filtering, ranking, and recommendation algorithms that mediate our online consumption of information. His findings show that our reliance on modern online technologies limits exposure to diverse points of view and makes us vulnerable to misinformation. In particular, he analyzed two massive Web traffic datasets to quantify the popularity and homogeneity bias of several popular (Read more ...)
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 (Read more ...)
Onur 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, (Read more ...)
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 (Read more ...)
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. (Read more ...)
The indictment of 13 Russians in the operation of a "troll farm" that spread false information related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election has renewed the spotlight on the power of "fake news" to influence public opinion. Now, an Indiana University faculty member who studies the spread of misinformation online is joining prominent legal scholars, social scientists and researchers in a global "call to action" in the fight against it. Filippo Menczer, a professor in CNetS and the IU School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, is a co-author of a (Read more ...)
Thanks to support from the Indiana University Network Science Institute (IUNI) and Digital Science Center (DSC), the full content of the Twitter data repository from the Observatory on Social Media (OSoMe) is now available to all IU researchers. Many tools to detect social bots, study the spread of fake news, visualize meme diffusion networks, trends, and maps, as well as APIs to access this data, have been available to the general public since mid-2016. Now, however, the IU research community can access enhanced data and content from the large collection, based on a 10% sample (Read more ...)