Online communication

Tracking and Unpacking Rumor Permutations to Understand Collective Sensemaking Online

This research addresses empirical and conceptual questions about online rumoring, asking: (1) How do online rumors permute, branch, and otherwise evolve over the course of their lifetime? (2) How can theories of rumor spread in offline settings be extended to online interaction, and what factors (technological and behavioral) influence these dynamics, perhaps making online settings distinct environments for information flow?

Understanding Online Audiences for Police on Social Media

While the use of social media as a community policing tool has gained attention from precincts and law enforcement oversight bodies, the ways in which police are expected to use social media to meet these goals remains an open question. This study seeks to explore how police are currently using social media as a community policing tool. It focuses on Twitter – a functionally flexible social media space – and considers whether and how law enforcement agencies are co-negotiating norms of engagement within this space, as well as how the public responds to the behavior of police accounts.

Mass Convergence of Attention During Crisis Events

This project employs a longitudinal study of social network structures in a prominent online social media platform to characterize instances of social convergence behavior and subsequent decay of social ties over time, across different actors types and different event types.

Social Media Expressions of Risky Health Behaviors

Young adults (YAs) on social networking sites (SNS) can quickly and widely send, receive, and access information. Up to 85% of YA Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profiles include alcohol-related content; thus, YAs are sharing and exposed to alcohol content on SNS. Alcohol displays on SNS are associated with YA high-risk drinking cognitions and problem drinking. In this project we focus on offline and online modes of social influence for YA alcohol use.

Detecting Misinformation Flows in Social Media Spaces During Crisis Events

This research seeks both to understand the patterns and mechanisms of the diffusion of misinformation on social media and to develop algorithms to automatically detect misinformation as events unfold.

Hazards, Emergency Response and Online Informal Communication

Project HEROIC is a collaborative, NSF-funded effort by researchers at the University of Kentucky and the University of California-Irvine to better understand the dynamics of informal online communication in response to extreme events.