Social Media Visual Analytics

Team Members: Mengdie Hu, John Stasko

     OpinionBlocks: A Crowd-Powered, Self-improving Interactive Visual Analytic System for Understanding Opinion Text - INTERACT 2013
     Breaking News on Twitter - CHI 2012

Social media has become a significant part of modern society. It has been used to distribute press releases, drive marketing campaigns, and even start revolutions. Social media introduces a novel way of communication and produces "big data" that often baffle analysts who try to understand and utilize social media. This research project focuses on studying new analysis approaches, especially visualization techniques, that help improve our understanding of social media.

One of our early research efforts examines the leaking of Osama Bin Laden's death on Twitter in 2011. We reveal interesting facts about how breaking news works on social media. This project has been covered by Georgia Tech News Room, ReadWriteWeb, MSNBC, LA Times, Washington Times, American Public Media, Poynter Institute, and a number of other media outlets.

Our current research focus is the problem of rumors on social media. Specifically, we seek to understand how humans peceive the trustworthiness of social media messages, and build visual analytics tools that ordinary users could utilize to improve their judgment of message credibility.

This research is supported in part by an IBM PhD Fellowship.