On 15 September 2020, The Washington Post published an article by Isaac Stanley-Becker titled “Pro-Trump youth group enlists teens in secretive campaign likened to a ‘troll farm,’ prompting rebuke by Facebook and Twitter.” The article reported on a network of accounts run by teenagers in Phoenix, who were coordinated and paid by an affiliate of conservative youth organization Turning Point USA. These accounts posted identical messages amplifying political narratives, including false claims about COVID-19 and electoral fraud. The same campaign was run on Twitter and Facebook, and both platforms suspended some of the accounts following queries from Stanley-Becker. The report was based in part on a preliminary analysis we conducted at the request of The Post. In this brief we provide further details about our analysis.Continue reading Evidence of a coordinated network amplifying inauthentic narratives in the 2020 US election
A team of CNetS researchers has created the first global map of labor flow in collaboration with the world’s largest professional social network, LinkedIn. The work is reported in the journal Nature Communications. The study’s lead authors are Jaehyuk Park and Ian Wood, PhD students working with YY Ahn. Wood is currently a software engineer at LinkedIn. Other authors on the study are CNetS PhD student Elise Jing; Azadeh Nematzadeh of S&P Global, who contributed to the study as a CNetS PhD student; Souvik Ghosh of LinkedIn; and Michael Conover, a CNetS PhD graduate and senior data scientist at LinkedIn at the time of the study. CNetS researchers created the map using LinkedIn’s data on 500 million people between 1990 and 2015, including about 130 million job transitions between more than 4 million companies. The researchers gained access to this data as one of only two teams — IU and MIT — selected to continue their work on the LinkedIn Economic Graph Research program beyond 2017. The study’s result represents a powerful tool for understanding the flow of people between industries and regions in the U.S. and beyond. It could also help policymakers better understand how to address critical skill gaps in the labor market or connect workers with new opportunities in nearby communities. 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 served millions of queries to thousands of Internet users. Davis has also made key pedagogical contributions, and co-authored a textbook on network science to be published later this year by Cambridge University Press.
Sponsored by Persistent Systems. Luis Rocha, Director of the Complex Systems PhD track in the School of Information and Computing at Indiana University Bloomington, explains the new software-driven approach to medical research. Big data generated through social media such as Twitter and Instragram provides a far deeper and fuller examination of the impact of medicines and diseases, leading to greater actionable insights to improve the efficacy of prevention and treatment.