Technical and Social Perspectives on Disinformation, Social Bots, and Social Media
The first work on social bots emerged about ten years ago. Today, they are (almost indisputably) important tools for spreading hate, fakes, and disinformation. But essentially, they are only one part of a much larger problem, namely strategic disinformation campaigns. This talk looks at the evolution of social network technology, its misuse, and the struggle so far to protect society from it. Finally, we venture a (slightly speculative) look into the future and discuss what current regulatory efforts can do to deal with the problem, both technically and socially.
Assoc. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Grimme is a computer and data scientist and heads the Social Media Analytics working group at the Data Science: Statistics & Optimization chair at the Institute of Business Informatics at the University of Münster. His research group investigates the automation of communication in social networks, the technologies for implementing social bots, new methods for detecting these automata, as well as the generation and impact of artificial content. A particular focus is on the discovery, investigation, and classification of disinformation strategies. In doing so, Dr. Grimme conducts interdisciplinary research in close cooperation with colleagues in communication science, political science, journalism, and law. His research group is involved in various projects of the German Federal Ministry of Research, the European Union, and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service, the research group also cooperates with the University of Adelaide, Australia, to uncover virtual grassroots movements in the context of online disinformation. In cooperation with German security authorities, the research group assesses and combats automated disinformation in the context of democratic elections. Dr. Grimme has advised the German parliament (Bundestag) on the topic of social bots and he is a member of the Integrity & Security Initiative of the German government in Germany.
Dr. Grimme is founder of the Multidisciplinary International Symposium on Disinformation in Online Media (MISDOOM), member of the steering group of the Algorithmization & Social Interaction Network, member of the European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) with headquarters in Münster, and academic co-leader of the ERCIS Competence Center for Social Media Analytics.