Seminar: Information Credibility in the Age of Social Media: Challenges for Social Computing

Event Date: 
Fri, 2017-10-06 11:15 - 12:15

Speaker: Tanu Mitra, CS @ VT

Location: 2150 Torgersen Hall


Tanushree Mitra is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer
Science at Virginia Tech. She obtained her PhD in Computer Science from
Georgia Tech. Her research interests are in the area of social computing,
where she develops computational approaches to understand and address
socially relevant problems which are created and often amplified by
participation in online social platforms. Tanushree’s research has been
recognized through multiple awards and honors, including an Honorable
Mention at CHI 2015, an IBM PhD fellowship, and GVU center’s Foley
Scholarship for research innovation and potential impact. Many of her
academic contributions have also received widespread press coverage by
notable news channels. She has also conducted social computing research in
the neXus group at Microsoft Research and Collaborative User Experience
group at IBM Research.


Today, social media provide the means by which billions of people produce,
consume and distribute information. This is often empowering, but can also
be disruptive.

What if someone says something false? In today’s talk, I will focus on this
line of inquiry.

Modern online social networks are neutral towards the credibility of
information. Simply put, they transmit both credible and less credible
information. First, I will focus on addressing this specific challenge —
the challenge of assessing the credibility of social media information in
the absence of traditional gatekeepers. I will present the development of
the first large-scale, systematic social media credibility corpus, called
CREDBANK– a corpus comprising millions of tweets nested in thousands of
real-world events. Second, by discussing the analysis of CREDBANK, I will
show that temporal and linguistic regularities can differentiate credible
and non-credible information. Finally, I will conclude with a preview of
two lines of ongoing research in my lab. The first offers new insights on
how people talk about conspiracy theories on social media. The second
presents the design of a technology probe to nudge people to be more
reflective while reading online news.