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What and Who
Title:Quantifying & Characterizing Information Diets of Social Media Users
Speaker:Juhi Kulshrestha
coming from:Max Planck Institute for Software Systems
Speakers Bio:
Event Type:SWS Student Defense Talks - Thesis Proposal
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Level:Public Audience
Date, Time and Location
Date:Wednesday, 8 November 2017
Duration:-- Not specified --
Building:E1 5
With an increasing number of people around the world relying on online social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to consume news and information about the world around them, there has a been a paradigm shift in the way news and information is exchanged in our society -- from traditional mass media to online social media. This paradigm shift has led to three key changes in the way that people are exchanging information: (i) Unlike the subscribers of mass media, online social media users are not just passive consumers of information, but they are also active publishers of content on these platforms. (ii) Social media users curate personalized word of mouth channels for themselves by creating social links to their preferred sources, and therefore unlike broadcast mass media where all subscribers receive the same information, individual users on social media might receive information that is very different from what other users are consuming. (iii) Social media users often rely on automated retrieval algorithms like personalized recommendation and search systems deployed by social media platform providers to discover interesting information from the deluge of user-generated content shared on these platforms.

While the area of media studies has traditionally focused mostly on broadcast mass media, with the changing environment it's important to study the news and information consumption of social media users and to also audit how the automated algorithms are modifying what the social media users consume.
In this thesis, we fulfill this high-level goal by following a two-fold approach. First, we propose the concept of information diets -- which is the composition of information being produced or consumed -- to measure and reason about the bias and diversity in information production and consumption on social media platforms. We then quantify the diversity and bias in the information diets that social media users consume via the three main consumption channels on social media platforms: (a) word of mouth channels that users select for themselves by creating social links, (b) recommendations that the social media platform providers give to the users, and (c) the search systems that users use to find interesting information on these platforms. We measure the information diets of social media users along three different dimensions of topics, geographic source diversity, and political perspectives.

Our work is aimed at making social media users more aware of the potential biases in their consumed diets, and at encouraging the development of novel mechanisms for mitigating the effect of these biases through better information discovery and exchange systems on social media.

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Maria-Louise Albrecht/MPI-KLSB, 11/03/2017 10:02 AM
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Maria-Louise Albrecht/MPI-KLSB, 11/03/2017 10:04 AM
  • Maria-Louise Albrecht, 11/03/2017 10:04 AM -- Created document.