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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

Botometer V4
   
botometer-v4 screenshot

In September 2020, we are introducing a major upgrade for Botometer. This post explains the changes and motivations behind them.

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Knight Fellows
   

Harry Yanmatt_devernaIndiana University’s Observatory on Social Media, funded in part last year with a $3 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has named two new Knight Fellows. Matthew DeVerna and Harry Yaojun Yan will help advance the center’s ongoing investigations into how information and misinformation spread online. The Observatory on Social Media, or OSoMe (pronounced “awesome”), is a collaboration between CNetS in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and EngineeringThe Media School; and the  (Read more ...)


CNetS @ NetSci 2020
   

CNetS students, postdocs, and faculty members will give 7 regular talks and present 13 posters at NetSci 2020, held online this year due to COVID-19. Regular talks will cover research on many topics including COVID-19, forecasting social contagion of anti-vax ideas, political bias in social media, coordinated manipulation online, the scientific development of nations, hierarchy in faculty hiring networks, and citation cartels in journals.

(Read more ...)

CNetS @ IC2S2
   

ic2s2_logoCNetS students, postdocs, and faculty members will be presenting 12 papers, 7 posters, and a tutorial on OSoMe tools at the 2000 International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2), held online this year due to COVID-19. In addition, Fil Menczer will deliver one of the keynotes. (Read more ...)


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...

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 ...)