9th CSSL Webinar: The Structures and Consequences of Online Political Discussion: Computational Studies Using Social Media Data


24 Mar 2022


10:00 – 11:30 (HKT)


Online Webinar


Professor Hai LIANG, School of Journalism and Communication, CUHK

Biography of Speaker:

Professor Hai LIANG is an Assistant Professor of Communication at CUHK. He is also a theme co-leader of the CSS Lab. His research interests include computational social science, political communication, and public health. He has published numerous articles in top journals such as the Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Human Communication Research, among others.


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Event Details:


·         Meeting Link: 

·         Meeting ID: 920 1432 9486

·         Passcode: 265364

YouTube Live



Synopsis of Lecture:

(Normative) theorists have argued that conversation is the soul of democracy. However, political discussions might not be as ideal as the theorists envisioned. This talk summarizes a series of computational studies using large-scale social media data to examine the structures and consequences of political discussions online. Specifically, this talk discusses both the positive and negative sides: the organizational principles of web forum discussions and how they could help produce common ground among the users, how diffusion structures are related to cross-ideological interaction on Twitter, to what extent movement-related discussions on LIHKG are leaderless, and finally how to identify the causal effects of incivility such as swearing and name-calling using machine learning and text mining.



Large amounts of data are now being produced, collected, and analysed at unprecedented speed, breadth, depth, and scale. Focusing on the development and application of computational methods for complex and large-scale human behavior and behavioral change, Computational Social Science addresses fundamental questions about individuals and collectives, and major social problems. With the aim to promote interdisciplinary collaborations in addressing substantive social science questions, the CSSL@CUHK was formed in April 2021.


CSS PhD Fellowship Scheme@CUHK

Each Computational Social Science PhD Fellow is affiliated with a department/school/programme within the Faculty of Social Science. The scheme aims to bring together young talents from different disciplines who aspire to employ solution-based CSS approaches to address important and complex problems.