Who Are We Studying in Social Media: Bots or Humans?

ieee-logo_banner_2Join us on Thursday November 24, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. for  “Who Are We Studying in Social Media: Bots or Humans?” a talk organized IEEE Toronto Systems Chapter.

Speaker: Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd

Associate Professor

Canada Research Chair in Social Media Data Stewardship

-Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
Director, Research

-Ryerson Social Media Lab

Day & Time: Thursday, November 24, 2016
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Room ENG 288, George Vari Centre for Computing and Engineering, 245 Church Street
Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 2K3
Map: http://www.ryerson.ca/maps – Look for ENG

Organizers: IEEE Toronto Systems Chapter, Alexei Botchkarev

Click here to RSVPRegistration: Registration is free, but space is limited. Please register via http://tinyurl.com/systemsChapterEvent24

Abstract: Researchers studying various online and computer-mediated communities used to be able to argue that the online is an extension of the offline, and that offline and online are just different slices of real life. But the increasing number of bots in our datasets and the increasing use of algorithmic filtering by social media giants are widening the gap between online and offline, and between computer-mediated and algorithm-driven communication. This in turn makes some online data less reliable, at least for those of us studying human behavior. It also begs the question, if we are using data from social media for modelling, are we modelling human behavior in social media or simply reverse engineering how bots and other algorithms operate? Therefore, there is an urgent need to better understand the nature of bots and algorithmic filtering, and their influence on users’ online interactions, not just from a computational, but also from sociological perspective. This talk will discuss some of the key challenges and possible solutions to detecting social bots in the context of conducting social media research.

Biography: Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd is a Canada Research Chair in Social Media Data Stewardship, Associate Professor in the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. He is also the Director of the Social Media Lab and a co-editor of a multidisciplinary journal on Big Data and Society published by Sage. Dr. Gruzd’s research initiatives explore how the advent of social media and the growing availability of social big data are changing the ways in which people communicate, collaborate and disseminate information and how these changes impact the social, economic and political norms and structures of modern society. Dr. Gruzd and his lab are also actively developing and evaluating new approaches and tools to support social media data analytics and stewardship.

His research and commentaries have been reported across Canada and internationally in various mass media outlets such as Foreign Affairs, Los Angeles Times, Nature.com, The Atlantic, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Canadian Press, CBC TV, CBC Radio, CTV and Global TV.