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
In the groundbreaking new PBS series “NetWorld,” Niall Ferguson visits network theorists, social scientists and data analysts (including at CNetS!) to explore the intersection of social media, technology and the spread of cultural movements. Reviewing classic experiments and cutting-edge research, NetWorld demonstrates how human behavior, disruptive technology and profit can energize ideas and communication, ultimately changing the world.
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…
NetSci, the flagship annual conference of the Network Science Society, was hosted this year by the Indiana University Network Science Institute (IUNI) with Filippo Menczer and Olaf Sporns serving as general co-chairs. NetSci 2017 was the largest meeting to date, since the conference started at IU Bloomington in 2006. NetSci fosters interdisciplinary communication and collaboration in network science research across computer and information sciences, physics, mathematics, statistics, the life sciences, neuroscience, environmental sciences, social sciences, finance and business, arts and design. NetSci 2017 was held June 19 – 23, 2017 at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. More…
LinkedIn announced that YY Ahn and his team of Ph.D. students from the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, including Yizhi Jing, Adazeh Nematzadeh, Jaehyuk Park, and Ian Wood, is one of the 11 winners of the LinkedIn Economic Graph Challenge.
Their project, “Forecasting large-scale industrial evolution,” aims to understand the macro-evolution of industries to track businesses and emerging skills. This data would be used to forecast economic trends and guide professionals toward promising career paths.
“This is a fascinating opportunity to study the network of industries and people with unprecedented details and size. All of us are very excited to collaborate with LinkedIn and our LinkedIn mentor, Mike Conover, who is a recent Informatics PhD alumnus, on this topic,” said Ahn. Read more…
The new Indiana University Network Science Institute (IUNI) unites 100+ researchers at IU — building on their world-renowned multidisciplinary expertise toward further scientific understanding of the complex networked systems of our world. Through pioneering new approaches in mapping, representing, visualizing, modeling, and analyzing diverse complex networks across levels and disciplines, IUNI will lead the way. We keep track of the big picture — ever-changing and interconnected. We’re laying the groundwork for innovative research and discovery in the area of network science.
Congratulations to Przemyslaw Grabowicz, Luca Aiello, and Fil Menczer for winning the WICI Data Challenge. A prize of $10,000 CAD accompanies this award from the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation at the University of Waterloo. The Challenge called for tools and methods that improve the exploration, analysis, and visualization of complex-systems data. The winning entry, titled Fast visualization of relevant portions of large dynamic networks, is an algorithm that selects subsets of nodes and edges that best represent an evolving graph and visualizes it either by creating a movie, or by streaming it to an interactive network visualization tool. The algorithm is deployed in the movie generation tool of the Truthy system, which allows users to create, in near-real time, YouTube videos that illustrate the spread and co-occurrence of memes on Twitter. Przemek and Luca worked on this project while visiting CNetS in 2011 and collaborating with the Truthy team. Bravo!
Research by our Truthy team was recently featured in New Scientist, USA Today, and the cover story of Science News. The Truthy project, developed by CNetS researchers and doctoral students, aims to study the factors affecting the spread of information — and misinformation — in social media.
The Truthy site charts tweet sentiment and volume related to themes such as social movements and news. It also monitors Twitter activity to build interactive networks that let visitors visualize the diffusion networks of memes, identify the most influential information spreaders, and explore those influential feeds and other information about their online activity, such as sentiment and language. Other tools let you map the geo-temporal diffusion of memes, generate YouTube movies that display how hashtags emerge and connect, and download data directly from Twitter. With these analytics, one can begin to ask question such as: How does sentiment change in response to events and memes? What memes survive over time? Who are the most influential users on a particular topic?
For more press coverage go to the Truthy press page.
Fil will present the paper Folks in folksonomies: Social link prediction from shared metadata (authored with Rossano Schifanella, Alain Barrat, Ciro Cattuto, and Ben Markines) at WSDM 2010 in New York on February 5. The paper discusses homophily, or more specifically the relationship between social connections and social tagging in folksonomies. We show that social similarity measures based on annotations can be effective predictors of friendship relationships. For the occasion, we are making our Last.fm dataset publicly available.