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Fil Menczer

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

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 is a bit crowded. You may schedule an appointment with Tara Holbrook, our center’s coordinator. Or you can try your luck by Doodle Bookable Calendaremail, phone (+1-812-856-1377), or in person (Informatics East room 314).

Prospective students interested in joining my group, NaN, 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 ScienceCognitive Science, or a combination. Check out the new NSF-Funded Interdisciplinary Training Program in Complex Networks and Systems! I am usually unable to respond to inquiries from prospective students unless they have already been admitted to one of these programs.

Recent News

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 (Read more ...)


Hey, I am a distinguished professor!
   

I am very honored and feel that this is a recognition of years of teamwork with wonderful colleagues and amazing students and postdocs at IU.

More...

We are looking for a research scientist to help run the Observatory on Social Media (OSoMe, pronounced awe•some) at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB). The official title of the position is Senior Project Coordinator (SPC). The Senior Project Coordinator will join the OSoMe senior management team --- director Filippo Menczer, co-directors for research Betsi Grabe and Alessandro Flammini, co-directors for education Elaine Monaghan and John Paolillo, Dean James Shahahan, and associate director for technology Val Pentchev. The mission of the Observatory, which recently received a $6 million investment from the (Read more ...)


New BotSlayer tool to expose disinformation networks
   
Broder disinformation network

First announced in September 2019, the new BotSlayer software to expose disinformation networks is designed and developed by CNetS faculty and students in collaboration with IUNI staff and the Observatory on Social Media. BotSlayer is an application that helps track and detect potential manipulation of information spreading on Twitter. It can be used by journalists, researchers, civil society organizations, corporations, and political candidates to discover in real-time new coordinated disinformation campaigns. Read about how (Read more ...)


New $6 million center will investigate media and technology in society
   
Indiana University will establish a $6 million research center to study the role of media and technology in society. With leadership by CNetS faculty, the Observatory on Social Media will investigate how information and misinformation spread online. It will also provide students, journalists and citizens with resources, data and training to identify and counter attempts to intentionally manipulate public opinion. Major support for the center comes from the  John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which will contribute $3 million, as well as funds from the university. The center is a collaboration between the IU School of (Read more ...)

Twitter bots play disproportionate role spreading misinformation
   

UPDATE: This paper is ranked #3 most read among all articles published by Nature Communications in 2018

Analysis by CNetS researchers of information shared on Twitter during the 2016 U.S. presidential election has found that social bots played a disproportionate role in spreading misinformation online. The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, analyzed 14 million messages and 400,000 articles shared on Twitter between May 2016 and March 2017 -- a period that spans the end of the 2016 presidential primaries and (Read more ...)


Congrats Dr. Clayton Davis!
   

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 (Read more ...)


Congratulations to Dr. Dimitar Nikolov
   

Congratulations to Dimitar Nikolov, who successfully defended his PhD dissertation on Information Exposure Biases in Online Behaviors. Dr. Nikolov s research explored the unintentional biases introduced by filtering, ranking, and recommendation algorithms that mediate our online consumption of information. His findings show that our reliance on modern online technologies limits exposure to diverse points of view and makes us vulnerable to misinformation. In particular, he analyzed two massive Web traffic datasets to quantify the popularity and homogeneity bias of several popular (Read more ...)


CNeTS researcher provides expertise on misinformation battle at AAAS conference
   
Fil Menczer

Filippo Menczer, a professor of computer science and informatics at CNetS, appeared on a panel of experts to discuss the emergence and dissemination of misinformation, and how it threatens society at the annual meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., Feb. 15.

Menczer was a part of a three-person panel and presented a talk, “Eight Ways Social Media Makes Society Vulnerable to Misinformation.” The talk provided an overview of ongoing network (Read more ...)