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Researchers to Follow the Trail of Misinformation

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user overwhelmed by social media, illustration

The project team will build and test large-scale models of information diffusion.

Credit: Getty Images

An interdisciplinary team of researchers led by Boleslaw Szymanski, Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will examine the flow of misinformation in social media, thanks to a grant of $336,654 from the U.S. National Science Foundation. Funding for the project totals $992,000.

"We are looking at how novel media impact what information flows on the Internet, how it creates groups and influencers, and how these influencers influence the masses," Szymanski says.

The team will examine anonymized data including one billion tweets collected during the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections. They will also study data from the Twitter, CrowdTangle, and Meta Researcher APIs. Using the data, researchers will identify polarizing issues and then track the flow of content to understand how it spreads and shapes public opinion.

From Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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