Socsemics is supported by an ERC Consolidator funding and is directed by Camille Roth. It aims at developing a set of integrated, groundbreaking methods to address the possible existence of so-called “filter bubbles” in the digital public space. In all generality, this phenomenon may be construed as communities whose actors are more or less prone to interaction and open to informations coming from “outside” of these communities. Socsemics will contribute to the formalization and operationalization of this question by addressing three current challenges:
- developing a comprehensive theory of reinforcing and self-sustaining socio-semantic communities by appraising the social, semantic and socio-semantic realms simultaneously;
- drastically improving content analysis by replacing classical distributional approaches with clause analysis, and thereby enabling quantitative analyses which render the linguistic complexity of utterances in web corpuses;
- fostering the interface between these methods and qualitative approaches, especially through a couple of broad case studies, together with the development of interactive platforms implementing the above innovations and facilitating digital social research.
The team hosts a new ANR-funded grant called RECORDS, focused on the understanding of practices surrounding online content platforms, and specifically in the context of musical streaming through a unique partnership with one of the major platforms in this area, Deezer.
The project generally aims at documenting the diversity of practices and behaviors on streaming platforms, understanding the effects of manual and algorithmic content recommendation, and describing the potential spatial diffusion of artists and works. RECORDS articulates quantitative and qualitative empirical protocols, by relying both on a unique source of usage data stemming directly from the platform (comprehensive listening histories on millions of users on several years) and on a large-scale survey (featuring tens of thousands of respondents) and associated interviews with a selection of consenting participants.
The project gathers about 25 researchers of diverse backgrounds including sociology, computer science and geography. It is being supervised byThomas Louail (Géographie Cités), Philippe Coulangeon (Observatoire Sociologique du Changement), Camille Roth (Centre Marc Bloch), Jean-Samuel Beuscart (Orange Labs SENSE) and Manuel Moussallam (Deezer R&D).
The team is involved in the activities of the Algodiv project, an ANR-funded grant active over 2016-2019 which follows the Algopol project (2012-2015). Coordinated by Camille Roth, AlgoDiv (“Diversité informationnelle et recommandation algorithmique”) is an interdisciplinary project gathering sociologists and computer scientists. It aims at understanding the intertwined effect of human information consumption behavior and man-made algorithms on online informational diversity and the shape of epistemic landscapes, including the possible existence of filter bubbles.
See the website of Algodiv.
In 2012 the “Task force for Interdiscipinarity” of CNRS initiated the MASTODONS endeavor, focused on exploiting and analyzing Big Data. The ARESOS project emerged within this framework to specifically deal with socio-semantic data, gathering sociologists, mathematicians, linguists, computer scientists. It was coordinated by LIP6 (U. Paris VI), at CMB it involved Lou Charaudeau, Telmo Menezes and Camille Roth.
Einstein-Zirkel “Digital Humanities in Berlin”
The team also took part in the “Digital Humanities in Berlin” group, gathering Berlin-based academics strongly active in the field of Digital Humanities, and which is formally supported by the Einstein-Stiftung as an Einstein-Zirkel.