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Robert Ackland - Online Networks: How News Stories Spread on Twitter

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The Catalyst at FCAD

80 Gould Street

Rogers Communications Centre, 2nd Floor: Rm. 230

Toronto, ON M5B 2M7

Canada

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In this presentation, Robert Ackland first provides an overview of some tools for the collection and analysis of social media data, developed at the Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks Lab (http://vosonlab.net) at the Australian National University. Ackland focuses on the open source R packages vosonSML (“social media lab”) and VOSON Dashboard which enable the collection and analysis of network and text data from Twitter, YouTube and Reddit. In the second part of the presentation, Ackland outlines on-going research into the spread of news stories on Twitter. The presentation discusses methodological challenges relating to the construction of social networks so the speed and extent of spread of news can be measured, and the development of scalable methods for labelling network nodes (for example, as conservative/liberal) so that political dimensions of diffusion can be studied. The research also explores whether there are differences in the spread of true and false news stories.



Dr. Robert Ackland is based in the School of Sociology at the Australian National University (ANU). He gained his PhD in economics from the ANU, focusing on index number theory in the context of cross-country comparisons of living standards. Since 2002, he has been researching online social and organisational networks, and has been chief investigator on five Australian Research Council grants in this area. Robert leads the Virtual Observatory for the Study of Online Networks Lab (http://vosonlab.net) which was established in 2005 and advances the social science of the Internet by conducting research, developing research tools, and providing training. Robert teaches undergraduate and masters courses on the social science of the Internet, online research methods, and the digital economy and his book Web Social Science: Concepts, Data and Tools for Social Scientists in the Digital Age (SAGE) was published in 2013. He is a contributor to the vosonSML (“social media lab”) and VOSON Dashboard R packages for social media network/text collection and analysis, and he created the VOSON software for hyperlink network construction and analysis. VOSON has been publicly available since 2006 and has been used by over 3000 researchers worldwide, and is now developed and hosted by the company he founded, Uberlink Corp (http://www.uberlink.com). More information on Robert Ackland: https://researchers.anu.edu.au/researchers/ackland-rj


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The Catalyst at FCAD

80 Gould Street

Rogers Communications Centre, 2nd Floor: Rm. 230

Toronto, ON M5B 2M7

Canada

View Map

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