On Friday, September 27th, doctoral candidate Adewale Obadimu successfully defended his PhD proposal, “Assessing the Role of Social Media Platforms in the Propagation of Toxicity.”  Obadimu defined toxicity as any “rude, disrespectful, or unreasonable comment that is likely to make people leave a discussion.” He argued that users who exhibit this toxic behavior will become worse over time, and that anyone could potentially display this type of behavior online.  His research aims to answer specific questions: Are toxic users clustered/segregated in an online discussion? Is toxicity contagious? Can we leverage toxic signals for predictions? To begin his research, Obadimu focused on a sample of userRead More →

On Friday, September 20th, doctoral candidate Kiran Kumar Bandeli presented his ongoing research on computational narrative analysis on blogs and social media at the EIT Colloquium.  “Blogs in particular act as virtual spaces where narratives are framed. It is therefore important to study and understand the way information is said by the actors on social media platforms,” Bandeli explained. Narratives are organized, long-lasting themes and ideas that persist in discourses. It is challenging to extract narratives from social media, and even more so to interpret them. However, developing a more effective way to study these narratives carries great implications, paving the way for strategic communicationRead More →

On Monday, September 23, participants of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program made a stop at UA Little Rock. Individuals from seven different countries spent the morning speaking with members of the COSMOS team to learn about the broad range of research taking place, particularly regarding social cyber security and misinformation on social media. The countries represented include Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Montenegro, Romania, and Tajikistan. Delegates learned about tools COSMOS Cosmographers have developed in order to study disinformation on social media platforms. Blogtrackers is a tool designed by Dr. Nitin Agarwal in 2009 to to track and analyze blogs and gainRead More →

As almost 400 attendees gathered at the 2018 NATO Information Communicators’ Conference (NICC) in Rome this September, Ph.D. fellow Katrin Galeano represented COSMOS to showcase the emerging technologies Blogtrackers and YouTubeTracker. The annual conference invited communication professionals from within NATO as well as academia and industry to discuss tools and strategies for Information Environment Assessment (IEA), the theme of this year’s conference.   Mrs. Galeano was invited to the NICC to demonstrate technologies developed by COSMOS during the workshop sessions held on Thursday, September September 20.  As one of only 51 presenters from NATO, industry and academia from all NATO member states, she presented COSMOS’Read More →

In February, more than 409 million people read the over 20.8 billion pages posted on WordPress.com, a popular blogging platform. Blogging remains a popular form of online communication that is growing at an exponential rate, yet few researchers have grasped the potential of data mining the blogosphere for research purposes.  The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is among the very few universities in the country with a team and projects dedicated to researching blogs. One of the researchers heading this project is Muhammad Nihal Hussain, a fifth-year doctoral student in information science and a core researcher at COSMOS (Collaboratorium for Social Media and BehavioralRead More →