Talks & Lectures
14 Oct 2019
Babbio Center, Room 310

Examining Political Information and Behavior Online

Department of Electrical and Chemical Engineering

Photo of Ceren Budak


Dr. Ceren Budak


With an increasing amount of data available online, we are now able to examine political information and behaviors through a new lens. In this talk, I will cover a series of studies that underline this promise for the study of news producers, citizens, and social movement organizations. First, focusing on the news media, I will characterize the spread of fake news during the 2016 Presidential elections. Through the use of heterogenous data, I will examine the interplay between news media production and consumption, social media behavior, and the information the electorate retained about the presidential candidates leading up to the election. Second, turning to the citizens, I will examine how individuals conform to community norms in political discussions. Past research identifies many processes that contribute to maintaining stable norms, including self-selection, pre-entry learning, post-entry learning, and retention. What is the relative importance of these processes? I will answer this question through an analysis of political subreddits on Reddit with stable and distinctive toxicity levels. Finally, by building predictive models to detect social movement organizations (SMOs) at scale, I will examine SMO participation in online social and political movements.


Ceren Budak is an Assistant Professor of Information and Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research interests lie in the area of computational social science. She utilizes network science, machine learning, and crowdsourcing methods and draws from scientific knowledge across multiple social science communities to contribute computational methods to the field of political communication.

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Stevens Institute for Artificial Intelligence 

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