Abstract: Social media is that part of the web, where social cognition is molded on a daily basis. To understand how our society is transforming under social media, we need abstract models to characterize the dynamics of online social cognition. Social media is more than just a platform for expression. It is a platform for engagement and persuasion — where different vested interests actively seek to engage with others and propagate their opinions or viewpoints so that it yields them concrete returns. In other words, it is a “Marketplace of Opinions,” where opinion itself is the currency of trade. This thesis aims to propose a working model of social media dynamics as an opinion marketplace. We define an opinion as a complex object comprising of “abstractive” and “expressive” elements. Based on literature from social psychology and network theory, we model the communication, propagation, calibration and assimilation of opinions on social media. A preliminary milestone that has been achieved, is to characterize a trending topic on social media by the following: the disparate opinions that characterize the trend, and the primary user accounts driving these disparate opinions.
Our understanding of web has been evolving from that of a passive repository to a participatory socio-cognitive space, where human beings are participants rather than users of it. To be able to perceive how the society is transforming, it is very important to understand how the web is impacting the social cognition. The socio-cognitive space is providing a common global platform where each individual can express his/her viewpoints and can be heard by others. The socio-cognitive space is acting as a Marketplace of Opinions, where ‘opinion’ is the currency and all the participants invest their opinions on the marketplace to get certain returns. We are trying to understand how this opinion marketplace is shaping or transforming the social cognition of the society in various ways. As a part of this bigger domain of interest, one of the specific problem we are addressing is to identify the opinion `drivers’ on the social media, who have an intention to steer the topic of discussion to a particular direction.
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Anish Bhanushali, Raksha Pavagada Subbanarasimha, and Srinath Srinivasa. 2017. Identifying Opinion Drivers on Social Media
. In On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems. OTM 2017 Conferences: Confederated International Conferences: CoopIS, C&TC, and ODBASE 2017, Rhodes, Greece, October 23-27, 2017, Proceedings, Part II. Springer International Publishing, Cham, 242–253.
Raksha Pavagada Subbanarasimha, Lokesh Todwal, Mamillapalli Rachana, Aditya Naidu, and Srinath Srinivasa. 2018. Mithya: A Framework For Identifying Opinion Drivers On Social Media. In
Proceedings of ACM IKDD Conference on Data Science and International Conference on Management of Data, Goa, India, Jan 2018 (CODS-COMAD 2018).