Doctoral student Zachary Stine’s article “Characterizing the Language‑Production Dynamics of Social Media Users” was accepted for publication by Springer’s Social Network Analysis and Mining (SNAM) on September 28, 2019. The article, co-authored by Dr. Nitin Agarwal, was published online on October 3. Abstract:  In this paper, we propose a characterization of social media users based on language usage over time in order to make more rigorous the notions of organic and inorganic online behavior. This characterization describes the extent to which a user’s word usage within a particular time period subverts expectations based on preceding time periods. To do this, we adapt the use ofRead More →

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 →

Ph.D. student Kiran Kumar Bandeli has been invited to speak about “Computational Narrative Analysis on Blogs/Social Media.” The colloquium will be held in the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT) Building, Room 217 at 3:00pm CST. You can attend in person or utilize the link below to view the presentation from any device with online access: https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/72ac95525d524120812cd25254122fbb Abstract of Talk: Social media is widely used to express views and share opinions with others. With the availability of inexpensive and ubiquitous mass communication tools like social media, creating narratives, false information and propaganda is both convenient and effective. Social media users leverage this platformRead 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 →

Please allow me to introduce myself to you; I am Rita Chowdhury a full-time, second-year MBA student at the UA Little Rock College of Business and a Graduate Research Assistant at COSMOS – a research team in the Department of Information Science. Apart from that I am currently a student member of the Joe T. Ford Investment Fund at the College of Business. Many a time the introduction makes way for numerous questions. Much like why am I in an Information Science research team? What might I be doing? How did I make it to the team? Do I have an engineering undergraduate degree? IfRead More →

Researchers at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock are studying how social bots influence the delivery of news via social media during major disasters.  The study examines the role of social bots – automated Twitter accounts that attempt to affect or influence the behaviors of others – and their coordination and communication patterns with complex organizational structures to disseminate information during four natural disasters that occurred in 2017. The paper, “Analyzing Social Bots and their Coordination during Natural Disasters,” will be discussed at the SBP BRiMS 2018 International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation to be heldRead More →