Starbird receives grant to study disinformation flows

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Kate Starbird

Kate Starbird, assistant professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, has been awarded a research grant for the project "Multimodal Analysis of Social Media to Detect Strategic Campaign Trends." 

This grant to Starbird is a subaward from the project lead, Jen Ziemke, associate professor of International Relations at John Carroll University, and is funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research. The goal of the project is to showcase a variety of ways to learn about data through leveraging multimodal perceptual analysis, by converting data into objects and sounds to see if it enhances our ability to detect trends over time.

Starbird and her team will analyze social media data related to disinformation flows, to discover signatures of specific “stories” or disinformation themes. They will compare those signatures across stories and over time. The goal is to identify specific indicators of disinformation, as well as common structures and/or information dynamics that function to spread online disinformation.

Starbird directs the Emerging Capacities of Mass Participation (emCOMP) Laboratory, and Ziemke is co-founder and co-director of the International Network of Crisis Mappers.