Social Networks and Online Communities

Social Networks and Online Communities

Understanding the risks, impacts, motivators, and benefits of online information sharing.

Research Projects

Balancing Personal and Public Regions on Social Media: Exploring What WeChat Moments Tells Us About Temporality

Examining the popular WeChat social app, which does not store users' history on its servers and requires users to manually archive any history, to see if there are lessons to be learned for popular social platforms like Facebook and Google that auto-archive user information, which might not be what some users want.

Designing a Crowdsourced Repository of Local Resources for Individuals who have Chronic Health Conditions

Self-management support is a critical component of effective chronic illness care. Individuals who have chronic health conditions often require intensive support to make sustainable long-term lifestyle changes to improve and maintain their health. While there is strong existing literature on the lifestyle and health decisions of the chronically ill, their information needs are understudied.

New Ways to Fic: How Kpop Fans Are Using Social Media

This study focuses on K-pop fanfiction writers and how social media plays a role in their fan experience. Fanfiction writers are known for adopting new technologies and utilizing them to meet their needs (Versaphile). In the K-pop (Korean pop music) fandom, fanfiction authors have found innovative ways to use social media to enhance their storytelling.

SaTC: CORE: Medium: Collaborative: BaitBuster 2.0: Keeping Users Away From Clickbait

Developing novel techniques - through the application of state-of-the-art machine learning - to detect various forms of clickbait, especially video-based clickbait, and study user behavior on social media to design effective warning systems.

AISL: Innovations in Development: Community-Driven Project That Adapt Technology for Environmental Learning in Nature Preserves

Engaging members of low-income and minority communities in environmental projects that are meaningful to their lives and can promote informal STEM learning. The researchers will look at how these projects impact participants and identify the key factors that influence the development of such community projects.

CRII: CHS: Facilitating Information Exchange in Crowd Problem Solving Discussions

Online communities, from question and answer sites to general-purpose discussion forums, are increasingly working to solve hard problems together, often through a process of open sharing and discussion of ideas and information.

Performing Play: Cultural Production on Twitch.tv

Every day, millions of people log on to the website Twitch.tv and watch others play games, a practice known as streaming. Briefly, a stream features live gameplay overlaid with a camera to capture the performer’s reactions, and a chat channel for the audience, facilitating social interaction relating to the stream’s content.

Studying User Perceptions and Experiences with Algorithms ICWSM Half-Day Workshop Proposal

From Facebook’s News Feed algorithm that shapes the posts and updates we see, to Spotify’s recommendation service that introduces us to new music that we might love, to dating site algorithms that attempt to match us with potential romantic partners, algorithms play an increasingly important role in shaping many aspects of our daily lives.

Amplifying the International Research Network for Assessing the Value and Impact of Digitized Ethnographic Archives

Creating a workshop connect scholars and archivists pursuing ethnographic impact research, identify and plan collaborative research projects and funding opportunities, and develop a website to showcase collaborative projects, project participants, and resource sharing.

"There's a creepy guy on the other end at Google!": Engaging middle school students in a drawing activity to elicit their mental models of Google

Tackling youth digital literacy education through an innovative art exercise, revealing a pervasive lack of understanding of Google and search engines by youth.

Crowdsourcing community resources to help individuals manage chronic health conditions

Individuals with chronic health conditions often do not translate knowledge of appropriate health behaviors to manage their condition into active lifestyle changes.

Towards Identifying Values and Tensions in Designing a Historically-Sensitive Data Platform: A Case of Urban Renewal Documents

Bringing to light an unseen collection of urban home renewal documents and digitally curating them in an effort to better understand the displacement of minority communities due to modern renovation.

The Role of Emotions in Sociopolitical Polish and Lithuanian Social Media

This project, run through ARLIS, investigates how emotion impacts information propagation and sharing in Polish and Lithuanian social media. Teams of in-country annotators independently assess each post, including all multimedia content, for over 22 distinct emotions inclusively on 0 to 100 scales--meaning that the same post will have different scores for different emotions. We will conduct multi-level statistical analyses of the impact of emotions, specific topics, and account and message features on social media sharing and engagement.

Social Networks and Online Communities News

University of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon, and Facebook Team Up to Forecast Coronavirus Spread

  • Press Release

    Data shared by 30M+ Facebook users world-wide will enable earlier detection of COVID-19 outbreaks, help communities to prepare, inform policymakers, and reveal patterns in effective preventative measures.

UMD iSchool @ the ACM's 2020 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW)

  • Jessica Vitak

    UMD iSchool's Dr. Jessica Vitak discusses the college's robust participation in the ACM's prestigious CSCW 2020 Conference.

PhD Student Spotlight: Xiaoyun Huang

  • iSchool News

    Xiaoyun is currently exploring how people present themselves across their social media ecosystems and what factors could influence their self-presentation.

Social Media’s Impact on the 2020 Presidential Election: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  • Hayleigh Moore & Mia Hinckle

    Social media has been a tool for boosting civic engagement, but also a vehicle for surprisingly convincing fake news and videos.

SchoolCEO: Crash Course Q&As: Dr. Jen Golbeck

  • iSchool News

    To bring your district together online, Jen Golbeck suggests creating a safe space, setting guidelines and rules, gaining participation, and making it accessible and equitable. 

University of Maryland Launches New Social Data Science Center with Support from Facebook

  • Press Release

    Initial Projects include Survey Tools to Track, Predict COVID-19 ‘Hot Spots’

UMD iSchool Welcomes Seven New Faculty Members

  • Mia K. Hinckle

    With strengths in library and archives innovation, digital curation, criminal justice data science, socio-technical aspects of cybersecurity and privacy, and mis/information in social networks.

Netflix Series "Connected," featuring Jen Golbeck

  • iSchool News

    Jen Golbeck discusses a groundbreaking discovery in an episode of Netflix's new series, Connected.

Mic: The Bitcoin scam that hit Twitter could have been way worse, featuring Jen Golbeck

  • AJ Dellinger

    Recent Twitter hacks demonstrate how misusage of the platform can be detrimental depending on the goals and timing of the attackers.

Confidence in Institutions in a Time of Mistrust

  • iSchool News

    UMD iSchool faculty discuss having confidence in government and institutions despite growing mistrust caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.