[CSSL@CUHK Webinar] Social and Algorithmic Curation in the Transmission of Information


14 Nov 2023


10:00 am – 11:30 am (UTC+8, HKT)




Prof. Sandra González-Bailón

Biography of Speaker:

Sandra González-Bailón is the Carolyn Marvin Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School, at the University of Pennsylvania, and Director of the Center for Information Networks and Democracy (CIND). Her research lies at the intersection of computational social science and political communication. She is the author of the book Decoding the Social World (MIT Press). Her articles have appeared in journals like Science, Nature, and PNAS, among others.

Synopsis of Lecture:

The diffusion of information requires prior exposure: we cannot disseminate what we do not see. In online platforms, information exposure results from a complex interaction between social and algorithmic forms of curation that shapes what users see in their feeds. In this talk, I will discuss research using social media data that investigates the role algorithms play in determining the information we encounter. This research analyzes exposure to news during the US 2020 election using aggregated data for 208 million US Facebook users. The analyses compare the inventory of all political news that users could have seen in their feeds with the information that they saw (after algorithmic curation) and the information with which they engaged.