Most Viewed Wikipedia Articles in 2022

Towards the end of each year, I gather statistics on the most viewed Wikipedia articles of the year. This helps me understand what topics captured the largest collective attention and gives me a chance to reflect on the major public events of the past year. Without further ado, here is the list of the mostContinue reading “Most Viewed Wikipedia Articles in 2022”

User engagement with Micro-lessons on Khan Academy

A few years ago, one of our MSc students at the Oxford Internet Institute and I analysed some log data (aka big data) that Khan Academy had kindly shared with us. We wanted to see how course-takers interact with videos and quizzes. The analyses were fruitful and the results were interesting (for example, there areContinue reading “User engagement with Micro-lessons on Khan Academy”

Network Science and Party Politics

This is going to be a short post! Using network science, Carla Intal, my former MSc student and current co-author, and I showed (and quantified) the extent of Brexit-driven party distortion in the UK parliament and even predicted the individual MPs’ votes with staggering accuracy. Network science works! Carla has already won the Oxford InternetContinue reading “Network Science and Party Politics”

How sex work has been affected by the pandemic

In the months before the pandemic, I was involved in an extensive piece of research into the sex work industry in the UK. Focusing on the main online market for sex work in the UK, AdultWork, we analysed the profiles of more than 11,500 sex workers to understand the industry and how it operates online.Continue reading “How sex work has been affected by the pandemic”

In Social Media content moderation, the focus should be on user’s long term behaviour; not on a single post

Earlier this month our paper titled “Islamophobes are not all the same! A study of far right actors on Twitter” was published in the Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism. This is one of those papers that has the whole story in its title! So there is very little that I can add, butContinue reading “In Social Media content moderation, the focus should be on user’s long term behaviour; not on a single post”

2020 through the global lens of Wikipedia

This Friday, Wikipedia turns 20 and I thought I should do something about it! I didn’t want to write about how useful Wikipedia is and how it has revolutionised the way we acquire information, or yet again write about edit wars among Wikipedia editors, or perhaps, how we can use Wikipedia to study collective attentionContinue reading “2020 through the global lens of Wikipedia”

A more guided visit – how to reopen museums and galleries safely

Museums and galleries in the UK are opening their doors to the public in July. But reopening will be conditional on their ability to implement safety measures. Social distancing is obviously vital in these institutions, which were often described as overcrowded when life was more normal. To be able to apply social distancing measures weContinue reading “A more guided visit – how to reopen museums and galleries safely”

Dominic Cummings: how the internet knows when you’ve updated your blog

When Dominic Cummings made a public statement to explain why he drove 260 miles to stay with his parents during the coronavirus lockdown, the prime Minister’s chief adviser made an assertion that initially went largely unnoticed: For years, I have warned of the dangers of pandemics. Last year I wrote about the possible threat ofContinue reading “Dominic Cummings: how the internet knows when you’ve updated your blog”

Research Design in Social Data Science; the online course

About a year ago, Sage Campus contacted me with an offer that I could not refuse! An opportunity to work with a professional team of designers and developers to produce an online course on Research Methods in Social Data Science. I have been teaching different methods courses in the area of social data science overContinue reading “Research Design in Social Data Science; the online course”

The Internet and your inner English Tea Merchant

Earlier this year I had the honour of being invited to give a TEDx talk in Thessaloniki. That was an amazing experience, I had never talked to 800+ people, being filmed by 4 cameras, and live broadcasted all at the same time! It was kind of pushing it to limit for me but it wasContinue reading “The Internet and your inner English Tea Merchant”

Your attendance to a concert affects the music your friends listen to

In a recent work, we studied music listenership patterns of 1.3 million online users to measure the direct and indirect effects of live concerts on song plays. We observe social contagion for only a certain type of musician and discuss how it can affect the music market. The Internet has fundamentally reshaped music and otherContinue reading “Your attendance to a concert affects the music your friends listen to”

Fluid sexism; it is rarely an isolated experience

Earlier this year, we finally published the results of our project on Everyday Sexism. We used computational text mining techniques to analyse the content of some 80 thousands stories of everyday instances of sexism posted on the Everyday Sexism website. Our results suggests that sexism is fluid; it’s not limited to a certain space, class,Continue reading “Fluid sexism; it is rarely an isolated experience”

The structure of world-stock-market network resembles geographical ties

In a recent paper, we studied 40 stock markets from top GDP countries to analyse the correlations and connections between them. As expected, we did observe strong correlations between ups and downs of these markets at the global level. However, when using Random Matrix Theory we detected the sub-communities of this global network, we realisedContinue reading “The structure of world-stock-market network resembles geographical ties”

Corruption is in the fabric of societies

Many think that corruption is a result of wealth or the lack of it. Some assume that tighter regulations might stop corruption. Hence, socio-economic metrics have been used to explain the level of corruption in different places with different regulatory regimes. In our recent work, we show that corruption is in the fabric of theContinue reading “Corruption is in the fabric of societies”

The curious patterns of Wikipedia growth

Wikipedia is arguably the number one source of information online for the speakers of many languages. But not all the different language editions are developed equally. The English edition is by far the largest and the most complete one, and the other 280 language editions have many fewer articles. The coverage of different language editionsContinue reading “The curious patterns of Wikipedia growth”

Online movements spread explosively rather than diffusively

I’m very happy that a favourite!! paper of mine is finally published in EPJ Data Science. The paper that is titled “Rapid rise and decay in petition signing” tries to analyse and model the dynamics of popularity of online petitions. Traditionally, collective action is known to follow a chain-reaction type of dynamics with a criticalContinue reading “Online movements spread explosively rather than diffusively”

Semantic Network Analysis of Chinese Social Connection (“Guanxi”) on Twitter

About two months ago, a paper of ours with the above title appeared on Frontiers in Digital Humanities (Big Data). This paper has emerged from my former MSc student at the Oxford Internet Institute, Pu Yan, who is currently working on her PhD in our department. In this paper we combined a network analysis toolContinue reading “Semantic Network Analysis of Chinese Social Connection (“Guanxi”) on Twitter”

What’s the state of the art in understanding Human-Machine Networks?

About a month ago, we finished our 2-year long EC-Horizon2020 project on Human-Machine Networks (HUMANE). The first task of this project was to perform a systematic literature review to see what the state of the art in understanding such systems is. The short answer is that we do not know much! And what we knowContinue reading “What’s the state of the art in understanding Human-Machine Networks?”

Collective Memory in the Digital Age

We finished our project on Collective Memory in the Digital Age: Understanding “Forgetting” on the Internet last summer, but our last paper just came out on Science Advances last week. The paper, titled “The memory remains: Understanding collective memory in the digital age” presents the results of our study on collective memory patterns based on Wikipedia viewership data of articlesContinue reading “Collective Memory in the Digital Age”

The interplay between extremism and communication in a collaborative project

Collaboration is among the most fundamental social behaviours.  The Internet and particularly the Web have been originally developed to foster large scale collaboration among scientists and technicians. The more recent emergence of Web 2.0 and ubiquity of user-generated content on social web, has provided us with even more potentials and capacities for large scale collaborativeContinue reading “The interplay between extremism and communication in a collaborative project”

Using Twitter data to study politics? Fine, but be careful!

The role of social media in shaping the new politics is undeniable. Therefore the volume of research on this topic, relying on the data that are produced by the same technologies, is ever increasing. And let’s be honest, when we say “social media” data, almost always we mean Twitter data! Twitter is arguably the most studiedContinue reading “Using Twitter data to study politics? Fine, but be careful!”

Even good bots fight and a typology of Internet bots

Our new paper titled “Even good bots fight: The case of Wikipedia” has finally appeared on PLOS One. There are two things that I particularly find worth-highlighting about this work. First, this is the first time that someone looks at an ecosystem of the Internet bots at scale using hard data and tries to come upContinue reading “Even good bots fight and a typology of Internet bots”

The OII Colloquia

I am very happy to announce our new series of seminars at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), called “The OII Colloquia (TOC)“. The OII Colloquia bring senior speakers from other departments at the University of Oxford to the Oxford Internet Institute to spark conversation around the Internet and society. The word Colloquia (sing.: Colloquium) comes fromContinue reading “The OII Colloquia”

New Paper: Personal Clashes and Status in Wikipedia Edit Wars

Originally posted on HUMANE blog by Milena Tsvetkova. Our study on disagreement in Wikipedia was just published in Scientific Reports (impact factor 5.2). In this study, we find that disagreement and conflict in Wikipedia follow specific patterns. We use complex network methods to identify three kinds of typical negative interactions: an editor confronts another editorContinue reading “New Paper: Personal Clashes and Status in Wikipedia Edit Wars”

Biases in Online Attention; Whose life matters more

This has become a common knowledge that certain lives matter more, when it comes to media coverage and public attention to natural or manmade disasters. Among many papers and articles that report on such biases, my favourite is this one by William C. Adams, titled “Whose Lives Count?”, and dated back to 1986. In this paper, it’sContinue reading “Biases in Online Attention; Whose life matters more”

Understanding voters’ information seeking behaviour

Jonathan and I recently published a paper titled “Wikipedia traffic data and electoral prediction: towards theoretically informed models“ in EPJ Data Science. In this article we examine the possibility of predicting election results by analysing Wikipedia traffic going to different articles related to the parties involved in the election. Unlike similar work in which socially generatedContinue reading “Understanding voters’ information seeking behaviour”

P-values: misunderstood and misused

Since I launched this blog, I always wanted to write something about the dangers of big data! Things that can go wrong easily when you study a large scale transactional data. Obviously, I haven’t done this! But recently we (Bertie, my PhD Student and I) just finished a paper titled: P-values: misunderstood and misused. Of courseContinue reading “P-values: misunderstood and misused”

Wikipedia readership around the UK general election

I already have written about the Wikipedia-Shapps story. So, that is not the main topic of this post! But when that topic was still hot, some people asked me whether I think anyone ever actually reads the Wikipedia articles about politicians? Why should it be important at all what is written in those articles? This post tackles thatContinue reading “Wikipedia readership around the UK general election”

Elections and Social Media Presence of the Candidates

Some have called the forthcoming UK general election a Social Media Election. It might be a bit of exaggeration, but there is no doubt that both candidates and voters are very active on social media these days and take them seriously. The Wikipedia-Shapps story of last week is a good example showing how important online presence is for candidates,Continue reading “Elections and Social Media Presence of the Candidates”

When and Where is Citizen Science happening?

Citizen Science is research undertaken by professional scientists and members of the public collaboratively. The best example of it is Zooniverse. Since it first launched as a single project called Galaxy Zoo in 2007, the Zooniverse has grown into the world’s largest citizen science platform, with more than 25 science projects and over 1 million registeredContinue reading “When and Where is Citizen Science happening?”

Wikipedia sockpuppetry: linking accounts to real people is pure speculation

You must have heard about the recent accusation of Grant Shapps by the Guardian. Basically, the Guardian claims that Shapps has been editing his own Wikipedia page and “Wikipedia has blocked a user account on suspicions that it is being used by the Conservative party chairman, Grant Shapps, or someone acting on his behalf”. In aContinue reading “Wikipedia sockpuppetry: linking accounts to real people is pure speculation”

How Big Data will change our lives and our understanding of them

… If the invention of telescopes provided us with the ability to understand how galaxies behave, and the microscope allowed us to find the cure of such a huge amount of diseases, this century we are going to understand much more about the social systems because of big data. There is no doubt that humans areContinue reading “How Big Data will change our lives and our understanding of them”

Breaking news in a connected world

The bitterness of the tragedy is the same, what has changed is the way that information spreads. I heard about the Boston Marathon Bombing, first when I was preparing to go to bed, and as a recently emerged habit, I was doing my bed-time-Facebook “friend feed” check. The news-line was so shocking that I kept “browsing” forContinue reading “Breaking news in a connected world”

How much Wikipedia could tell us about elections

IMPORTANT NOTE: this post does not aim at predicting the results of any election. This is just a report on some publicly available data and does not draw any conclusion on it.  In few hours, vote casting for Iranian presidential election, 2013 starts. And within few days (may be one or two) the next president of Iran for theContinue reading “How much Wikipedia could tell us about elections”

Wikipedia; modern platform, ancient debates on Land and Gods

What are the most controversial topics in Wikipedia? What articles have been subject to edit wars more than others? We now have a tool to explore what topics are most controversial in different languages and different parts of the world. Wikipedia is great! There is no doubt about it. You may argue that it’s notContinue reading “Wikipedia; modern platform, ancient debates on Land and Gods”

What can Wikipedia tell us about the Cannes Festival just before the closing

Among all the interesting events taking place today, one is the Closing Ceremony of 2013 Cannes Film Festival. If you already have seen our recent paper on Early Prediction of Movie Box Office Success based on Wikipedia Activity Big Data, you already know that I’m a big fan of movies. In that paper we investigated theContinue reading “What can Wikipedia tell us about the Cannes Festival just before the closing”

The coverage of a tragedy

“The Newtown School shooting is a school shooting that occurred on December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, Connecticut. 24 persons are reported to have been killed, including 17 children.” This is the whole content of the first revision of Wikipedia article on Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The tragedy happened at around 9.35 am inContinue reading “The coverage of a tragedy”