Abstract: In this talk, Megan Squire will explain how she uses the data science process to understand the complex socio-technical phenomena that drive online hate, particularly how hate groups finance their propaganda and activities. While it can be difficult to understand how far-right extremists fundraise due to the secretive nature of the activity and because of the difficulty of getting data from social media platforms, Dr. Squire's work uses publicly-available data to understand the financial structure of the clandestine far-right. Her research on extremist group financing has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, WIRED, and numerous other venues.
Bio: Dr. Megan Squire is a professor of Computer Science at Elon University. Her main research area is applying data science techniques to understand niche and extremist online communities, particularly radical right-wing groups on social media. Dr. Squire is the author of two books on data cleaning and data mining, and over 40 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, including several Best Paper awards. In 2017, she was named the Elon University Distinguished Scholar. She currently serves as a Senior Fellow for data analytics at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and as a Senior Fellow and head of the Technical Research Unit at the Center for Analysis of the Radical Right.
Abstract: The political debate and electoral dispute in the online space have been marked by an information war in many recent elections. In order to mitigate the misinformation problem, we developed technological solutions able to reduce the abuse of misinformation campaigns in the online space and we deployed it along the 2018 Brazilian elections. Particularly, we created a system to monitor public groups in WhatsApp and a system to monitor Ads in Facebook, bringing some transparency for the campaigns on these online spaces. Our systems showed to be fundamental for fact-checking and investigative journalism.
Bio: Fabrício Benevenuto is associate professor in the Computer Science Department of Federal University at Minas Gerais (UFMG) and a former member of the Brazilian Academy of Science (2013-2017). In 2017, he received a Humboldt fellowship through which he was a visiting faculty at Max Planck Institute. He is author of widely cited and awarded papers, including the test-of-time award from ICWSM and a best nominee at WWW, both received in 2020. Currently, he leads a series of projects towards understanding, measuring, and countering misinformation campaigns in social networks. His work on these topics has led to a large number of relevant publications, widely cited papers, and systems with real world impact.
- How frequent are the seminars?
For now, we plan to have one seminar a month (tentatively, on the third Monday). If we get a critical mass of participants and speakers, we will switch to every two weeks.
- At what time are the seminars?
11 AM Eastern Time / 4 PM UK Time / 5 PM Central Europe Time. As different countries switch to daylight savings time at different times, please check the link on the schedule to convert to your time zone.
- How do I subscribe to seminar announcements?
You can join our Google Group (note that you need to be signed in with a Google account). You can also subscribe to our Google Calendar: [ICS] [HTML].
- How do I join the seminars?
You can either join on Zoom (you’ll need to register to each event with an existing Zoom account) or watch the livestream on YouTube. We also record each seminar, so please subscribe to our channel.
- Any other questions?
Please contact Savvas Zannettou or Antonis Papasavva.