Publications

Publication date: 
12/2019
Authors: 
Briony Swire Thompson
David Lazer

The internet has become a popular resource to learn about health and to investigate one's own health condition. However, given the large amount of inaccurate information online, people can easily become misinformed. Individuals have always obtained information from outside the formal health care system, so how has the internet changed people's engagement with health information?

Keywords: 
misinformation
fake news
misconceptions
health
social media
Publication date: 
07/2019
Authors: 
Kenny Joseph
Briony Swire Thompson
Hannah Masuga
Matthew A. Baum
David Lazer

Using both survey- and platform-based measures of support, we study how polarization manifests for 4,313 of President Donald Trump’s tweets since he was inaugurated in 2017. We find high levels of polarization in response to Trump’s tweets. However, after controlling for mean differences, we surprisingly find a high degree of agreement across partisan lines across both survey and platform-based measures.

Publication date: 
03/2019
Authors: 
Sarah Shugars
Nick Beauchamp

Individuals acquire increasingly more of their political information from social media, and ever more of that online time is spent in interpersonal, peer-to-peer communication and conversation. Yet, many of these conversations can be either acrimoniously unpleasant or pleasantly uninformative. Why do we seek out and engage in these interactions? Who do people choose to argue with, and what brings them back to repeated exchanges?

Keywords: 
politics
social media
interpersonal communication
deliberation
polarization
natural language processing
Publication date: 
01/2019
Authors: 
Nir Grinberg
Kenny Joseph
Lisa Friedland
David Lazer
Briony Swire Thompson

The spread of fake news on social media became a public concern in the United States after the 2016 presidential election. We examined exposure to and sharing of fake news by registered voters on Twitter and found that engagement with fake news sources was extremely concentrated. Only 1% of individuals accounted for 80% of fake news source exposures, and 0.1% accounted for nearly 80% of fake news sources shared.

Publication date: 
12/2018
Authors: 
Michael Neblo
Kevin Esterling
David Lazer

OPINION — At the end of the movie “The Candidate,” Robert Redford’s character wins a Senate seat, and then immediately pulls aside his most trusted adviser and asks, “What do we now?” After the divisive election of 2018, we imagine that many newly elected members of Congress are pondering the same question.

Publication date: 
11/2018
Authors: 
Ronald Robertson
Shan Jiang
Kenny Joseph
Lisa Friedland
David Lazer
Christo Wilson

There is a growing consensus that online platforms have a systematic influence on the democratic process. However, research beyond social media is limited. In this paper, we report the results of a mixed-methods algorithm audit of partisan audience bias and personalization within Google Search.

Publication date: 
08/2018
Authors: 
Ethan Bernstein
Jesse Shore
David Lazer

People influence each other when they interact to solve problems. Such social influence introduces both benefits (higher average solution quality due to exploitation of existing answers through social learning) and costs (lower maximum solution quality due to a reduction in individual exploration for novel answers) relative to independent problem solving.

Keywords: 
collective intelligence
social influence
social networks
Publication date: 
07/2018
Authors: 
Philipp Hunziker
Julian Wucherpfennig
Aya Kachi
Nils-Christian Bormann

Very large spatio-temporal lattice data are becoming increasingly common across a variety of disciplines. However, estimating interdependence across space and time in large areal datasets remains challenging, as existing approaches are often (i) not scalable, (ii) designed for conditionally Gaussian outcome data, or (iii) are limited to cross-sectional and univariate outcomes.

Publication date: 
06/2018
Authors: 
Joshua A. Miller
Daniel Levine

In this article, we summarize the first civic game contest, its rules and process, and the results. We describe civics, games and argue that there is a fruitful intersection to be had between those two fields. Finally, we introduce the winning games.

Keywords: 
games
civics
democracy
refugees
community organizing
dialogue and deliberations
Publication date: 
06/2018
Authors: 
Xingshan Zeng
Jing Li
Lu Wang
Nick Beauchamp
Sarah Shugars
Kam-Fai Wong

Millions of conversations are generated every day on social media platforms. With limited attention, it is challenging for users to select which discussions they would like to participate in. Here we propose a new method for microblog conversation recommendation. While much prior work has focused on post-level recommendation, we exploit both the conversational context, and user content and behavior preferences.

Publications by type

Journal Article