Studying Online and Offline Communities through the Prism of Social Media Data – @Gruzd Keynote at ISSC 2017 at Harvard University

How can we use spatiotemporial data and social media data to help us to better understand our world and address some of the global challenges that confront us today?

This is the question that the organizers of the 2017 International Symposium on Spatiotemporal Computing (ISSC) asked Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd, Director of Research at the Social Media Lab to address as part of his keynote.

ISSC is happening this week at Harvard University (August 7th-9th). The attendees at this symposium are some of the premier experts in spatiotemporal computing, the computing paradigm that utilizes spatiotemporal principles to devise cutting-edge computing technologies and solutions, enables the development of trailblazing new methodologies, tools and software to address global challenges such as climate change, natural disaster, or infectious disease. Below is the abstract of Dr. Gruzd’s keynote and accompanying slide deck.

Abstract: The presentation will explore the utility of social media data to examine external social, economic and political relations and trends. It asks whether there are observable linkages between the user-defined location, social connections among users, and their presence in online groups promoting a particular political position. The presentation will use a case study of online groups on VKontake (VK), a popular social networking site in Eastern Europe, advocating pro- or anti-Euromaidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2014. This case study will demonstrate possibilities and limitations of relying on social media data to support analysis on politically important relations between countries and nation-states, namely: immigration, economics, conflict, linguistics, and culture.