COSMOS began studying election-related social media content in 2019. To examine the possible use of a hostile online media campaign orchestrated to influence the 2019 Canadian Federal election, researchers used an in-house application called YouTubeTracker to collect more than 6,000 videos and more than one million comments. They combined multiple social media analysis techniques, social cyber forensic methods, content analysis, and mathematical-sociological constructs to determine whether online influence campaigns were orchestrated on YouTube.  “We have been extending our focus from blogs and Twitter to YouTube because the popular and interactive video sharing platform with more than one billion users has become a tool to spreadRead More →

We are pleased to announce that the paper “A Framework towards Computational Narrative Analysis on Blogs” written by Kiran Kumar Bandeli, Muhammad Nihal Hussain, and Nitin Agarwal has been published in The 3rd International Workshop on Narrative Extraction from Texts (Text2Story’20) co-located with 42nd European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2020). The paper introduces the idea of extracting narratives automatically on blogs to provide a better situational awareness. Narratives can be represented as semantic triplets of actors and their actions towards other actors. This is important because it provides sociologists/political scientists to gain situational awareness by tracking different opinions, political views, and narratives as theyRead More →

Joseph Kready and Thomas Marcoux won $10,000 by placing third in the Walton Family Foundation Graduate Division of the 20th annual Arkansas Governor’s Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition. The duo competed as team Face-To-Face introducing an innovative technology that creates Avatar-based chatbots that replace existing text-based chatbot solutions. Face-to-Face is the first University of Arkansas at Little Rock team to place in the Graduate Division since 2009. This year, the competition was conducted with the help of videoconferencing technologies. 18 teams from eight Arkansas universities virtually presented their innovative ideas and business plan which were judged by volunteers from Arkansas’s private and public sector business,Read More →

Tuja Khaund will be speaking at today’s UALR’s EIT Colloquium. Her talk “Information Actors on Social Media: Who are they and how do they coordinate?” will start at 3:00 PM CST today, Friday, April 10. To view her presentation live online, visit: https://us.bbcollab.com/guest/1c555535701140c8a156f8451c9baa20 Abstract of Talk: Online social networks (OSNs) are a major component of societal digitalization. OSNs alter how people communicate, make decisions, form or change their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. Thus, they can now impact financial systems and political communication at scale. As one type of OSN, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. serve as outlets for users to convey information toRead More →

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a partnership with the University of Arkansas Little Rock (UALR) and the Arkansas Research Alliance to identify and track scam websites and social media misinformation related to COVID-19 that have rapidly spread with the pandemic.  Misinformation posted on websites and social media has been spreading quickly. False claims, misleading information and the sale of fake cures and treatments undermine Arkansas’ efforts to combat this disease and present a hazard to consumers’ physical, financial and online safety. The collaboration with COSMOS offers a new avenue to quickly identify the bad actors who want to spread misinformation or steal consumers’Read More →

Ph.D. candidate Adewale (Wale) Obadimu and graduate students Oluwaseun Johnson and Uche Umoga participated in the 2020 CRA URMD Grad Cohort Workshop which took place March 5-7, 2020 in Austin, Texas. The three-day event was hosted by the Computing Research Association (CRA), an organization dedicated to bringing industry, government and academia together to support research and advanced education in computing. This year, the CRA Grad Cohort for Underrepresented Minorities and Persons with Disabilities (URMD) Workshop took place for the third time, attracting students from schools across the United States and Canada. CRA covered the travel expenses for all selected students that collectively represent a diverseRead More →

Congratulations to Joseph Kready for being accepted to the 2020 Social Networks and Health Fellowship program at Duke University from May 11-15, 2020. The program is hosted by Duke Network Analysis Center (DNAC) and the Duke Population Research Institute, with support from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Joseph will be participating in the week-long training course, covering a wide range of social network analysis topics related to studying health behaviors, including data collection, influence, network visualization, and agent-based modeling. He will be matched with a mentor, who will advise Joseph for a year to work on his ongoingRead More →

Muhammad Nihal Hussain successfully defended his doctoral dissertation “Role of Multiple Social Media Platforms in Online Campaigns.”  His committee consisted of Dr. Nitin Agarwal (chair), Dr. Samer Al-khateeb, Dr. Elizabeth Pierce, Dr. John Talburt, and Dr. Ningning Wu.  Hussain studied cross-media information dissemination, in which content posted on one platform is shared to another to boost visibility. During his time at COSMOS, he has analyzed information operations campaigns conducted against NATO exercises. Throughout these campaigns, information actors utilized several platforms to disseminate content.  “Most researchers focus on one platform to study disinformation, but dissemination strategies have evolved,” Hussain said. “Multiple social media platforms are usedRead More →

We are pleased to announce that Zachary Stine’s paper “Characterizing the language-production dynamics of social media users” has been published in the latest issue of Social Network Analysis and Mining, a multidisciplinary journal serving researchers and practitioners in academia and industry.    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 of anRead More →