TRIADS Speaker Series with Deen Freelon: Operation Dumpster Fire; or, toward balance in the detection and profiling of low-quality content online
Join Deen Freelon, associate professor at the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina for a presentation entitled Operation Dumpster Fire; or, toward balance in the detection and profiling of low-quality content online.
Abstract: Mis- and disinformation, conspiracy theories, hyperpartisan distortions, and similar phenomena (collectively low-quality content) have grown into a major focus area for social science. Many of the quantitative studies in this area rely on blacklists of low-quality web domains—Infowars.com, naturalnews.com, thegatewaypundit.com, and the like—to measure how much low-quality content exists and is viewed or shared on social media. While such studies have contributed much to our understanding of low-quality content, few of them empirically incorporate substantial amounts of high-quality content. Doing so may open new avenues for understanding low-quality content: for example, we could develop a taxonomy of disinformation attractors—individuals, places, institutions, and ideas that are frequent subjects of disinformation. We could also generate linguistic profiles of low-quality content, identifying specific words, phrases, and types of language that are statistically associated with it. Our research team is currently developing software, under the temporary designation Operation Dumpster Fire, to accomplish these and more research tasks related to low-quality content. This presentation will explore the project’s theoretical underpinnings, technical architecture, and offer a feature demonstration.
This event is co-sponsored by The Center For Empirical Research in the Law.RSVP