Upcoming Events

Coming up in February:

Combatting the Spread of Online Misinformation

A talk by Dr. Pamela Thomas – Sign up here!

When: Tuesday, February 22, 2022 – 11:00 AM: Sign-In – 11:30 AM: Lunch – 12:00 PM: Presentation

Where: The University Club of Louisville, 200 East Brandeis Avenue Louisville, Kentucky United States 40208

Dr. Thomas will discuss several different methods used to understand and describe human behavior on the Internet, and the effect of offline events on online communities. The central focus of this work is a broad investigation into how groups of people behave online. Dr. Thomas will present research into better understanding the effects of policies enacted by governments and social media companies on online behavior. A discussion of an alternative means, other than censorship, to inhibit the spread of misinformation and propaganda online will be presented, as well as preliminary results thereof. GitHub was used to research how new information is adopted into a group, and the resulting struggle that emerges from fights over how to apply this new knowledge. The results suggest that censorship has an impact on the structure of groups and that deplatforming results in more frequent users to leave Reddit, for example. Additionally, experience with a pilot social media literacy site suggest that people can be educated to fact check misinformation found on social media for themselves, suggesting that applying these results more broadly could reduce the volume of misinformation in citizens’ news feeds and, hopefully, lead to a more informed public.

About the speaker:

Dr. Pamela Thomas is an assistant professor at the Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville. Her research focuses on computational social science, data science, and machine learning for the common good. She has expertise in a variety of different areas including social media research, misinformation spread, media literacy programming, healthcare analytics, data mining, neural networks, and graphs.

This event is open to the public; anyone may sign up.

Additional Information: View Flyer (PDF)