The Spread of Information and Misinformation in Social Networks: Informatics Colloquium

May 1, 2014 - 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Room 335 - Iowa Memorial Union

All students are invited to attend this special informatics colloquium featuring Filippo Menczer, Professor at the Indiana University School of Informatics & Computing and Director of the Center for Complex Networks & System Research. Immediately following the talk students will have a one-hour discussion time with Professor Menczer.

This talk presents ongoing work on the study of information diffusion in social media, focusing in particular on political information in the Twitter microblogging network. Social media play an important role in shaping political discourse in the U.S. and around the world. Our infrastructure allows us to mine a large stream of social media data related to political themes. Our analyses address polarization, partisan asymmetries, and coordination of social movements. We will discuss machine learning efforts that leverage the structure of meme diffusion networks to detect orchestrated misinformation campaigns, infer the political affiliation of active users, and predict which memes will go viral. The massively heterogeneous popularity and longevity of memes can surprisingly be explained as deriving from a combination between the competition for our limited attention and the structure of our social network, without the need to assume different intrinsic values among competing ideas. Nevertheless, the community structure of our social circles provides essential cues for virality prediction.

This is joint work with many members of the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research at Indiana University. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation, McDonnell Foundation, and DARPA. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of these funding agencies.

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