Tag Archives: social media

Two papers got accepted for ACM WebSci’23

Two of our latest works got accepted for the 15th ACM Web Science Conference (WebSci’23)!

Web Science is an interdisciplinary field to study socio-technical systems, particularly on the web, and ACM WebSci is the premier conference for Web Science research.

Political Honeymoon Effect on Social Media: Characterizing Social Media Reaction to the Changes of Prime Minister in Japan” by Kunihiro Miyazaki (The University of Tokyo, postdoctoral researcher at CNetS from March 1), Taichi Murayama (Osaka University), Akira Matsui (Yokohama National University), Masaru Nishikawa (Tsuda University), Takayuki Uchiba (Sugakubunka), Haewoon Kwak (Associate Professor of Informatics at IU Luddy), and Jisun An (Assistant Professor of Informatics at IU Luddy)

In this study, we examine how social media users respond to changes in political leadership to understand the honeymoon effect in politics better. In particular, we constructed a 15-year Twitter dataset on eight change timings of Japanese prime ministers consisting of 6.6M tweets and analyzed them in terms of sentiments, topics, and users.

Wearing Masks Implies Refuting Trump?: Towards Target-specific User Stance Prediction across Events in COVID-19 and US Election 2020” by Hong Zhang (Singapore Management University), Haewoon Kwak (Associate Professor of Informatics at IU Luddy), Wei Gao (Singapore Management University), and Jisun An (Assistant Professor of Informatics at IU Luddy).

In this work, we look into an individual’s stance on three seemingly independent but related controversial topics: wearing masks, racial equality, and Donald Trump. These topics correspond to one’s behavior in three events that happened in 2020: mask adoption, racial unrest, and US Election. Our goal is to investigate how one’s behavior in a target event is associated with their behaviors in other related events, which we call connected behavior, beyond the context of COVID-19, and ultimately, predict one’s future behavior given their previous behaviors.

The conference will be Co-located with The Web Conference, Austin, Texas, USA, from April 30th to May 1st.


New postdoc position 2023

The Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University, Bloomington invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow position. The anticipated start date is January 1, 2023. The position is initially for 12 months and can be renewed for up to 24 additional months, depending on performance and funds availability. The Fellow will work with Filippo Menczer and collaborators at IU and other universities on sponsored research related to modeling the spread of harmful misinformation on social media.

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Networks Tool Visualization

New network visualization tool maps information spread

Today the Observatory on Social Media and CNetS launched a revamped research tool to give journalists, other researchers, and the public a broad view of what’s happening on social media. The tool helps overcome some of the biggest challenges of interpreting information flow online, which is often difficult to understand because it’s so fast-paced and experienced from the perspective of an individual account’s newsfeed.

Continue reading New network visualization tool maps information spread
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.

Continue reading Probing political bias on Twitter with drifter bots

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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Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award

Mihai AvramCNetS alumnus Mihai Avram is the recipient of the 2020 Indiana University Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award for his work on Hoaxy and Fakey: Tools to Analyze and Mitigate the Spread of Misinformation in Social Media. This award recognizes a “truly outstanding” Master’s thesis based on criteria such as originality, documentation, significance, accuracy, organization, and style. Some of the findings in Mihai’s thesis have recently been published in the paper Exposure to social engagement metrics increases vulnerability to misinformation, in The Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review. Congratulations Mihai!

UPDATE: BotSlayer tool to expose disinformation networks

Browder disinformation network

We are excited to announce the new v.1.3 of BotSlayer, our OSoMe cloud tool that lets journalists, researchers, citizens, & civil society organizations track narratives and detect potentially coordinated inauthentic information networks on Twitter in real-time. Improvements and new features include better stability, a new alert system, a Mac installer, and many additions to the interface. This version is released in time for those who would like to use BotSlayer to monitor #Election2020 manipulation.

Continue reading UPDATE: BotSlayer tool to expose disinformation networks

CNetS research featured on PBS

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.