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CS Special Seminar: Juhi Kulshrestha "Information consumption on the web and its effect on society"

This talk is arranged at the Department of Computer Science.
SpecialSeminar_AaltoEvent

Information consumption on the web and its effect on society

Juhi Kulshrestha
University of Konstanz
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Thursday, 10 March at 10:15
via Zoom: request the link by email [email protected]
Note! the link will be sent by email to CS staff.

Abstract: Even though the internet has facilitated access to unprecedented amounts of news and information, its impact on citizenship and opinion formation is often deemed harmful. Several socio-technical phenomena such as polarization, echo chambers, biased AI-driven information curation, and misinformation plague the functioning of today’s political systems. These phenomena are considered to originate with or be reinforced by how people consume news and information on the web. 

The talk will give an overview of how I utilize digital behavioral data to quantify and characterize how people consume news and information on the web and its effect on society. I will begin with a study on the mobility of individuals on the web, where we take an information-theoretic approach to examine the limits of predictability of individuals’ browsing behavior based on the routines that they tend to follow while browsing. Next, I will present a study where we measure the biases in how people perceive the truthfulness in news stories via large-scale surveys and leverage these biases to build a framework for prioritizing stories for fact-checking. Lastly, I will talk about the search bias quantification framework I designed to investigate the sources of bias for political searches on social media and the web.

Bio: Juhi Kulshrestha is currently an Assistant Professor of Computational Social Science at the Center for Data & Methods, University of Konstanz, Germany. She obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science working with Prof. Krishna Gummadi at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, Germany. Her research lies at the intersection of computer science, data science, and social science to study the web as a socio-technical system. She investigates how individuals consume news and information on the web and how online information retrieval systems (such as search and recommendation systems) shape individuals’ online information diets. She is particularly interested in examining the societal impact of the biases, inaccuracies, and lack of diversity in the online information ecosystems. Her research on societally relevant topics has been funded by academic institutions (e.g., Leibniz Association, Social Science One & Social Science Research Council) and industry (e.g., Facebook, Google).

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