User confinement in online communities (SNA and info-viz)

Computer Science: Two possible internships

Context

User confinement (or containment) in online communities – variously denoted as, inter alia, balkanization, bubbles, echo chambers, fragmentation – is at the core of a growing number of studies. In the framework of Algodiv and Socsemics, the team contributes to advancing the formalization and the empirical appraisal of the informational and interactional confinement of individuals in web communities. This internship would aim at either appraising or visualizing user confinement on Twitter and its topical subnetworks, building upon exploratory work previously achieved within the team.

Goals

There are two main directions for further research at the moment in this context:

  • First, adopting a graph-theoretic and social network analysis perspective, in order to refine existing measures of structural confinement in topical Twitter subnetworks and then generalize some of the preliminary results, both in a methodological and in an empirical manner (principally by streamlining a robust empirical protocol to assert the distribution and magnitude of confinement);
  • Second, from an information visualization standpoint, by developing an interactive visualization interface that renders the structural-topical confinement of users both at the ego-centered level (local neighborhood of users) and the global level (a whole topical network).

Intended audience

We open up to two internships under the joint supervision of Camille Roth and Jérémie Poiroux.

For the first internship, applicants should ideally be achieving a master’s degree in computer science and related fields; prior knowledge of network theory and/or online data collection is desirable.

The second internship targets students in information visualization and information design.

Practical Details

  • The internship could last between three and six months;
  • The internship is based in Berlin at the Centre Marc Bloch;
  • The intern should have working proficiency in either English, French or German;
  • The internship allowance is fixed by law at an amount of about 500 euros on a 38 hours basis.

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