Fil Menczer

I am the Luddy Distinguished Professor of Informatics and Computer Science at the Indiana University Luddy 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, a Fellow at the ISI Foundation in Torino, Italy, and a Fellow of the ACM.

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 and mailbox are crowded. The most efficient way to schedule an appointment with me is to contact Tara Holbrook or Lourdes Gonzalez. For any matters related to the Observatory on Social Media, please use this contact form. Or as a last resort you can try your luck by email, phone (+1-812-856-1377), or in person (LU 2028).

Prospective students interested in joining my lab 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, or Cognitive Science. I am usually unable to respond to inquiries from prospective students unless they have already been admitted to one of these programs.

Recent News

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Anatomy of an AI-powered malicious social botnet
A preprint of the paper titled “Anatomy of an AI-powered malicious social botnet” by Yang and Menczer was posted on arXiv. Concerns have been raised that large language models (LLMs) could be utilized to produce fake content with a deceptive intention, although evidence thus far remains anecdotal. This paper presents a case study about a […]

OSoMe, IUNI, and CNetS to present 57 papers at upcoming conferences
We’re excited to announce that researchers at the Observatory on Social Media, the IU Network Science Institute, and the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research will present 57 papers at various conferences over the summer.

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 […]

We’re moving and hiring!
We have two big announcements! First, CNetS (along with IUNI and OSoMe) is moving to the new Luddy Center for Artificial Intelligence. Second, we have a new tenure-track assistant professor position in Artificial Intelligence and Network Science. We welcome any candidates who study AI, complex systems, and network science (all broadly defined). Potential research areas […]

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 […]

ICWSM Test of Time Award
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 […]

Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award
CNetS 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. […]

Evidence of a coordinated network amplifying inauthentic narratives in the 2020 US election
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 […]

UPDATE: BotSlayer tool to expose disinformation networks
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 […]