Social Media Lab Speaker Series

Launched in 2014 and held throughout the year, the Social Media Lab Speaker Series brings together scholars, researchers, and practitioners to exchange ideas and debate key issues associated with social media and new media research. The event invites leading and emerging researchers in the field to discuss theoretical and methodological topics that are of interest to the broader research community and practitioners in the industry. It is an opportunity to meet, network, hear and ask questions from fellow researchers and practitioners.


Over the past six years, the series hosted over 50 guest talks as listed below:

  • Oct 20, 2014: Analyzing Political Discussions on Persian Twitter by Emad Khazraee, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Nov 28, 2014: Content Aggregation as a Means to Separate Signal from Noise in Market Trend Research: The Case of the iPhone 5S by Jaigris Hodson, Ryerson University.
  • Feb 27, 2015: Strategic Opinion Leaders: A “just-in-time” Approach to a Politically Informed Citizenry by Elizabeth Dubois, a doctoral candidate at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute.
  • Mar 13, 2015: Information Wars and Online Activism During the 2013/2014 Crisis in Ukraine by Anatoliy Gruzd, an associate professor and the director of research at the Ryerson University Social Media Lab.
  • Mar 27, 2015: #Ethics in 140 Characters: The Use of Twitter to Talk About Doing the Right Thing by Chris MacDonald and Chris Gibbs, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University.
  • Oct 8, 2015: Future-Proofing Dinosaur Tattoos: Communicating Science Through Social Media by Glendon Mellow, a fine artist + illustrator inspired by evolutionary biology.
  • Oct 22, 2015: Culture, Networks and Mobile Log Data by Jeffrey Boase, an associate professor in the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.
  • Oct 29, 2015: Dimensions of Social Media in Human-Robot-Interaction by Frauke Zeller, an assistant professor in the School of Professional Communication at Ryerson University.
  • Nov 5, 2015: The Digital Reputation Economy by Matthew Flisfeder, an assistant professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University.
  • Nov 19, 2015: Celebration, Protest and War by Kenzie Burchell, an assistant professor at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.
  • Nov 26, 2015: Is Social Media Challenging Traditional Politics? by Marc Esteve, a postdoctoral research fellow at Ryerson University.
  • Jan 29, 2016: Exploring Learning Networks: Social Network Structures for Design of Learning Crowds and Communities by Caroline Haythornthwaite, a professor at the iSchool at the University of British Columbia.
  • Feb 12, 2016: Information Mining from Microblogging Platforms by Ebrahim Bagheri, a Canada Research Chair in Software and Semantic Computing, an associate professor and the director for the Laboratory for Systems, Software and Semantics (LS3) at Ryerson University.
  • Feb 26, 2016: Tweeting to the Target: Candidates Use of Strategic Messages and @Mentions on Twitter by Jeff Hemsley, an assistant professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University.
  • Mar 11, 2016: A Novel Point of Interest (POI): Location Based Recommender System Utilizing User Location and Web Interactions by Ayse Basar Bener, a professor and the director of Data Science Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, and director of Big Data in the Office of Provost and Vice President Academic at Ryerson University.
  • Mar 18, 2016: Tracking Conversations in Social Media Campaigns by Jenna Jacobson is a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.
  • Apr 1, 2016: How Our Networks Shape Our Privacy by Yotam Shmargad, an assistant professor at the University of Arizona’s School of Information.
  • Apr 8, 2016: Scandals & Fandom: The Growing Impact of Social Media on Sports by Ann Pegoraro, the director of the Institute for Sport Marketing and an associate professor in the School of Sports Administration at Laurentian University.
  • Apr 15, 2016: Social Platforms to Support Interactions in Service Systems by Kelly Lyons, an associate professor in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.
  • Apr 29, 2016: The Travel of Facts in the Digital Age by Heather Ford, a Digital Methods fellow at Leeds University’s School of Media and Communication.
  • May 2, 2016: Research Workshop on Modeling Dynamic Social Networks with Siena in R by Kyounghee (Hazel) Kwon, an assistant professor of Social & Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University.
  • May 6, 2016: Emotions on Weibo: The Passion & Politics of Food Safety Issues on Weibo by Song Yunya (Céline), an assistant professor and director of the Applied Communication Research Lab in the School of Communication at Hong Kong Baptist University.
  • May 16, 2016: Research Workshop on Hypothesis Testing with Network Data using Statnet in R by Kyounghee (Hazel) Kwon, an assistant professor of Social & Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University.
  • May 20, 2016: Quantitative Social Media Audiences Research: Anonymity, Gatekeeping, and Mobilization by Kyounghee (Hazel) Kwon, an assistant professor of Social & Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University.
  • May 27, 2016: Ideas for Branding via Social Media by Staci M. Zavattaro, an associate professor of public administration at the University of Central Florida.
  • Jul 29, 2016: Social Information Seeking: Leveraging the Wisdom of The Crowd by Chirag Shah, an associate professor in both the School of Communication & Information and the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers University.
  • Aug 12, 2016: The MIT Deliberatorium Project by Mark Klein, a principal research scientist at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.
  • Sep 9, 2016: #Hashtagging Hate: Using Twitter to Track Racist Tweets in Canada by Irfan Chaudhry, a criminology instructor at MacEwan University and a doctoral candidate at the University of Alberta.
  • Sep 22, 2016: Crowdsupporting as Gift Exchange by Frank Kleemann, aprofessor of Sociology of Work and Organization at University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Sep 30, 2016: Exploring Ontario’s Pro-Vaccine and Anti-Vaccine Conversations on Twitter from 2014-2016 by Melodie Yun-Ju Song, a doctoral candidate in Health Policy at McMaster University.
  • Nov 11, 2016: Automated Politics: The Influence of Political Twitter Bots by Elizabeth Dubois, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa.
  • Jan 26, 2017: Research Method Workshop on Text Analytics for Social Data using Discovertext & Sifter by Stuart Shulman, an inventor, entrepreneur, CEO @texifter.
  • Feb 8, 2017: Creating Connections Online in Fixed and Flexible Networks by Bree McEwan, an assistant professor in the College of Communication at DePaul University.
  • Mar 31, 2017: Is Digital Propaganda Turning Us into Propagandists? by Alicia Wanless, the director of Strategic Communications at the SecDev Foundation.
  • April 21, 2017: How Fashion Brands Talk to Their Customers on Social Media by Ángel Hernández-García, an assistant professor at the Telecommunication Engineering School at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
  • May 19, 2017: Scattered, But Together Online: An Exploration of The Sikh E-Diaspora Community by Priya Kumar, a postdoctoral fellow at the Ryerson University Social Media Lab.
  • Sep 12, 2017: Gestural Communication and Emoji Culture: Strains of Connection in an Era of Confused/False Information by David Marshall, a chair in New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Deakin University.
  • Oct 12, 2017: Raising Teen’s Awareness of their Data Traces: A Youth Data Literacy Project by Leanne Bowler, an associate professor, the director of the Sara Fine Institute for Interpersonal Behavior and Technology at the School of Computing and Information, and co-chair of the Department of Information Culture and Data Stewardship at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Nov 10, 2017: Social Media, Consent and The Biggest Lie on The Internet by Jonathan Obar, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at York University.
  • Mar 7, 2018: Not All Bots Are Created Equal: Exploring Automated Interventions in Online Political Discourse by Olga Boichak, a doctoral candidate at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
  • Apr 12, 2018: Analyzing Public Conversations in Social Media by Raquel Recuero, an associate professor at the Communication and Linguistics Department at Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPEL/Brazil).
  • Apr 25, 2018: What Do You Do With 280 Million Tweets from the 2016 U.S. Election? by Justin Littman, a software developer and librarian at George Washington University Libraries.
  • May 24, 2018: Who Can You Trust Online? An Examination of Cognitive Authority of Yelpers by Laurie Bonnici, an associate professor at the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama.
  • Jun 21, 2018: There’s A Troll on The Information Bridge! How Deviant Online Behaviour Impacts Tourism Cosmopolitanism by Aaron Tham, a lecturer and researcher in the School of Business, Faculty of Arts, Business and Law at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
  • Jul 6, 2018: From Priming to Prejudice: The Light and Dark Sides of Data Research by Chirag Shah, an associate professor in both the School of Communication & Information and the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers University.
  • Sep 12, 2018: To Share or Not to Share: Privacy Protection and Boundary Management When “Sharenting” on Instagram by Anne Suphan, a postdoctoral researcher at Hohenheim University.
  • Oct 23, 2018: Mapping Out Violence Against Women and Girls on Twitter by Priya Kumar, a postdoctoral fellow at the Ryerson University Social Media Lab.
  • Jan 22, 2019: What Were the Bots Up to During The 2016 Us Presidential Election? by Robert Ackland, an associate professor at the Australian National University.
  • Nov 7, 2019: Online Information and Misinformation About Environmental Issues by Jaigris Hodson, an associate professor in Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads University.
  • Jan 29, 2020: The Rise of The Promoters: User Classes and Contribution Patterns in Enterprise Social Media by Burcu Bulgurcu, an assistant professor in the Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management.