Few thoughts on an important paper that just appeared in Science, The spread of true and false news online. The paper received (and will receive) justified attention: it is massive (“~126,000 rumor cascades spread by ~3 million people more than 4.5 million times” in a long temporal window – from 2006 to 2017), it includes several detailed analyses (the authors did not only check basic metrics such as speed and size of diffusion, but they measured things like structural virality; the proportion of political versus non-political news; the role of bots; they run a sentiment analysis of the tweets, etc.), and it has a straightforward (and I guess welcome to many) take-home message: “fake” news are more successfull than “true” news in social media, at least in Twitter (*).
As my current (and last) postdoc contract is going to finish, I am actively looking for a job. Yesterday, while in line to board a plane, I saw a tweet signalling three positions in digital humanities at London’s King’s College. While I do not exactly fit with the area (not that there are many areas I fit exactly with), a good amount of my research is of interest to digital humanities (for example, here or here), and I had few positive interactions with other practitioners. So, I clicked on one of the links proposed (you can try this, it is the same for all).
I will hold a one-day practical workshop on “Emotions in 50 Years of Pop Song Lyrics: A Text Mining Approach” at the 7th Winter School Fact and Method: Data, Borders and Interpretation in Tartu – Estonia, the 7th of February 2018 (this blog post can give an idea of what we will do). The participation for PhD students is free of charge and, according to the organisers, in some cases, it is possible to reimburse the accommodation. See below a short description of the workshop and some suggested readings.
In 2013 I took the time to collect some data about the spread of a story about Oreo cookies. According to it, scientists demonstrated that Oreo cookies are as much, or possibly more, addictive than cocaine. The story spread and faded very quickly, in a couple of days in October 2013, but was reported by hundreds of English language media outlets, including prominent ones such as the Huffington Post or the Guardian.
I am almost leaving after few intense days at the Second Moscow-Tartu Late Summer School on Digital Humanities, where I was invited to give a talk about my research on the cultural dynamics of emotion in fiction (see two papers here and here), and more recently in song lyrics (no paper yet – a blog post documenting the very beginning of the research is here).