Tag Archives: papers

drifter bots

Probing political bias on Twitter with drifter bots

Our latest paper “Neutral bots probe political bias on social media” by Wen Chen, Diogo Pacheco, Kai-Cheng Yang & Fil Menczer just came out in Nature Communications. We find strong evidence of political bias on Twitter, but not as many think: (1) it is conservative rather than liberal bias, and (2) it results from user interactions (and abuse) rather than platform algorithms. We tracked neutral “drifter” bots to probe political biases. In the figure, we see the drifters in yellow and a sample of their friends and followers colored according to political alignment. Large nodes are accounts sharing a lot of low-credibility links.

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ICWSM Test of Time Award

Twitter echo chambers

Our 2011 paper Political Polarization on Twitter was recognized at the 2021 AAAI International Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM) with the Test of Time Award. First author Mike Conover, who was then a PhD student and is now Director of Machine Learning Engineering at Workday, accepted the award at a ceremony at the end of the ICWSM conference. Other authors are Jacob Ratkiewicz (now a Tech Lead at Google), Bruno Gonçalves (now VP at JPMorgan Chase), Matt Francisco (now Lecturer at IU Luddy School), Alessandro Flammini (Professor of Informatics at IU Luddy), and Filippo Menczer (Distinguished Professor and Director of the Observatory on Social Media at IU).

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Hoaxy: A Platform for Tracking Online Misinformation

diffusion networks of hoaxes in Twitter
Misinformation (yellow/brown) spreads within the healthy (blue) Twittersphere network. Left: chemtrails conspiracies mix with conversations about the sky. Right: antivax campaigns penetrate discussions about the flu.

UPDATE (21 Dec 2016): we just launched Hoaxy, our open platform to visualize the online spread of claims and fact checking.

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Awards at CCS 2015

Optimized-IU_poster_5_botsThe CNetS poster “The Rise of Social Bots in Online Social Networks” by Emilio Ferrara, Onur Varol, Prashant Shiralkar, Clayton Davis, Filippo Menczer, and Alessandro Flammini won a Best Poster Award at CCS 2015. The poster was presented by Clayton Davis. The results will also appear in the paper “The Rise of Social Bots” to be published in Comm. ACM (in press, preprint).

The paper “Modularity and the Spread of Perturbations in Complex Dynamical Systems” by Artemy Kolchinsky, Alexander J. Gates and Luis M. Rocha, and the poster “Information Theoretic Structures of the French Revolution” by Alexander Barron, Simon DeDeo and Rebecca Spang won additional awards.

Finally, our former postdoctoral scientist Bruno Gonçalves (now tenured faculty member at Aix-Marseille Université) received a Junior Scientist Award from the Complex Systems Society for his contributions to the study of human social behavior from large-scale online attention and behavioral data. This is the second Junior Scientist Award for CNetS (the first was won by Filippo Radicchi).

Congratulations to the CNetS team!


Paper on Web traffic modeling presented at WAW 2010

Mark Meiss
Dr. Mark Meiss

On December 16, Mark Meiss presented our paper “Modeling Traffic on the Web Graph” (with Bruno, José, Sandro, and Fil) at the 7th Workshop on Algorithms and Models for the Web Graph (WAW 2010), at Stanford. In this paper we introduce an agent-based model that explains many statistical features of aggregate and individual Web traffic data through realistic elements such as bookmarks, tabbed browsing, and topical interests.

Summer 2010 conferences

Riva Del GardaNaN folks were busy during the summer. First, we descended to Riva del Garda for Sunbelt XXX, the social networks conference. Rossano presented a poster on social link prediction from shared metadata (with Alain, Ciro, Ben, Fil); Fil presented a paper on Scholarometer (with Diep); and Sandro presented a paper on Wikipedia traffic modeling (with Jacob and Fil). Then Lilian went to Wshington, DC where she presented a poster on social games with a purpose at HCOMP2010. Finally, Jacob presented two papers on traffic in social media (with Sandro, Fil, Santo, and Alex) at the SocialCom2010 International Symposium on Social Intelligence and Networking (SIN-10) in Minneapolis. Congratulations to everyone for the great work!

Article in Nature on the plenitude of scientific performance metrics features the research of Bollen and Vespignani

The relatively new field of bibliometrics has experienced an explosion of research as scientists become more interested in developing metrics that can accurately measure scientists’ performance. The common but naive practice of tallying the number of journal citations accumulated by researchers has serious limitations insofar as many salient factors like the weight of a citation as a function of a journal or database’s popularity, how well an article integrates with contemporaneous research, and individual productivity are not taken into account.

The article discusses Bollen’s concern that the scramble to uncover new metrics and combinations of them has obscured an equal need to define the concepts under measurement more rigidly. It also addresses an approach taken by Vespignani and colleagues to apply the concept of weighted citations to develop a network of over 400,000 papers published over 100 years in order to demonstrate the variable influence scientists have over the scientific community. Read more…