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  • PhD Defense- Julie Jiang

    Fri, May 03, 2024 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Student Activity

    PhD Defense- Julie Jiang
    Title:  Socially-informed content analysis of online human behavior
    Committee: Emilio Ferrara (CS and Communication, tenure, chair), Kristina Lerman (CS), Marlon Twyman II (Communication, external), Pablo Barberá (Poli Sci)

    Abstract: The explosive growth of social media has not only revolutionized communication but also brought challenges such as political polarization, misinformation, hate speech, and echo chambers. This dissertation employs computational social science techniques to investigate these issues, understand the social dynamics driving negative online behaviors, and propose data-driven solutions for healthier digital interactions. I begin by introducing a scalable social network representation learning method that integrates user-generated content with social connections to create unified user embeddings, enabling accurate prediction and visualization of user attributes, communities, and behavioral propensities. Using this tool, I explore three interrelated problems: 1) COVID-19 discourse on Twitter, revealing polarization and asymmetric political echo chambers; 2) online hate speech, suggesting the pursuit of social approval motivates toxic behavior; and 3) moral underpinnings of COVID-19 discussions, uncovering patterns of moral homophily and echo chambers, while also indicating moral diversity and plurality can improve message reach and acceptance across ideological divides. These findings contribute to the advancement of computational social science and provide a foundation for understanding human behavior through the lens of social interactions and network homophily.

    Location: Grace Ford Salvatori Hall Of Letters, Arts & Sciences (GFS) - 104

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Julie Jiang

    Event Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/5152754393?pwd=V1pzUnpEc0JtTVZlS0l5R1VMRWlRdz09&omn=91709345144

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