This is a living article, updated frequently with examples of how personal data about you is being collected. I will post in-depth discussions of these examples on my Psychology Today blog.
Last updated November 13, 2020
We all know that the data we post on social media is never really private, and we are cautioned to be careful about what we choose to share. However, when it comes to building profiles of us — our interests, our demographics, our behavior, and more — companies delve far deeper than just analyzing our posts. …
You may have seen something going around in the wake of the 2020 US Presidential Election where people are claiming they can prove there was fraud in the votes using math.
They are wrong. This is a post you can share to explain why.
ETA: RadioLab did a really excellent episode on this which includes a lot of what’s below including interviews with me and Dr. Mebane who did the election analysis at umich. If you don’t want to read all this, go check that episode here: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/breaking-benford
I am an expert with published research on Benford’s Law, the statistical pattern they are talking about. I’m going to tell you why they are doing it wrong and why, even if they did it right, it wouldn’t indicate fraud. …
I teach a class in the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland called “Becoming a Social Media Influencer”. It’s a hands-on class where students create social media accounts (or work with ones they already have) and learn how to make good content, to build a community, to gain insights into social media algorithms, and to develop strategies for growing their accounts. We do in-class critiques and offer feedback along with doing readings and trying out new tech.
I come to this from my own experience as a computer scientist who studies social media and as someone who has a bunch of sort-of popular accounts. I run @theGoldenRatio4 on Twitter (~120,000 followers), Instagram (~100,000 followers), SnapChat (~400,000 followers), and pretty much everywhere else. I have a much smaller account where I post about running (jenRunsWithDogs on Twitter and Instagram) that has about 20,000 followers on both platforms. Combining my academic research plus experience with these accounts has informed a lot of what’s in this class. …
Anyone can register for this 3-credit class at https://oes.umd.edu/
Graduate version (600-level) will be posted soon
By the end of this course students will be able to:
Understand and interpret social media analytics
· Generate high quality photos and text content for social media
· Implement strategies for building engagement with social media content
· Build influential social media profiles
Readings and Online Resources:
There is no required text for this course. All readings are free and available online.
35% homework assignments
30% participation in online discussions
35% final project
1. Social Media Platforms
a. Topics: a tour of social media platforms, the capabilities of each, and the influencers and communities…
Here are a few key features to know about when participating in a WebEx meeting in a role other than host. A video guide to this tutorial is embedded at the bottom of this story.
Under the main video window is a set of icons:
You can raise your hand to let the host know you want to talk. Hover over your name in the participant list and click the hand icon icon. When you’re done speaking, click it again to un-raise your hand. …
There are a few errors students often run into in my classes that use Gephi. Here are some of the most common with fixes.
You checked and you have Java 1.8 or higher installed, right? (if not, to do that — that’s the problem).
This error usually happens on Windows and there’s an easy solution. Go to the Gephi folder in your Applications folder. If you’re on windows 10, look in C:\Program Files (x86)\Gephi-0.9.1\bin\
There will be two versions of Gephi in there. They are probably called gephi.exe and gephi64.exe. Try them both. …
Auto-play videos that start yelling at me when I just want to read a paragraph or two of news make me crazy. I’ve been fighting a years-long battle against the CNN videos with limited success. Today, I landed on a solution that is working.
I expect this won’t work forever, as it seems to be an escalating battle where CNN really really needs you to have their annoying videos play. For now, enjoy the silence!
Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump)is a prolific Twitter user who breaks every convention that I’ve seen in my study of politicians and government officials using the platform. You can read all his tweets on his Twitter profile, but they are also handily archived and searchable at http://www.trumptwitterarchive.com/
I grabbed a copy of everything he’s posted since he joined in May 2009 — a total of 30,123 tweets. This includes his retweets in addition to tweets he authored. This article is the first in a series that will analyze that data.
There are lots of fancy ways to analyze the words people use, but to start, I opted for a simple frequency count. I stripped out stop words — the really common words like “a”, “the”, and “of” that appear very frequently without a lot of meaning (I used the default and MySQL stopword lists at http://www.ranks.nl/stopwords). I also converted everything to lower case so “trump” and “Trump” would be counted as the same word. …