Kate Starbird Profile picture
Associate Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) at UW. Researcher of crisis informatics and online rumors. Aging athlete. Army brat.
Phillip D. Long Profile picture 1 subscribed
Sep 4, 2018 7 tweets 2 min read
Our upcoming #CSCW2018 paper examining information operations on Twitter in the context of the ongoing civil war in Syria. In this work, we look at how Russian, Syrian and Iranian info ops were integrated into an online community of information activists. faculty.washington.edu/kstarbi/cscw-W… This paper focuses on the case of the “Aleppo Boy” (Omran Daqneesh) who was photographed after his family’s home was bombed in an airstrike conducted by Syrian or Russian forces in 2016 & who re-appeared on Syrian state television almost a year later. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omran_Daq…
Sep 3, 2018 11 tweets 3 min read
Excited to release our upcoming #CSCW2018 paper describing how disinformation agents from the Internet Research Agency in Russia participated in online discourse about the BlackLivesMatter movement and police-related shootings in the U.S. during 2016:
faculty.washington.edu/kstarbi/BLM-IR… Following up on network analysis showing RU-IRA agents were active on both “sides” (pro- and anti-) of the politicized BLM conversation, we conducted a deep qualitative analysis, showing how RU accounts impersonated “authentic” voices.
Aug 24, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
News coverage yesterday noted research documenting how Russian trolls spread anti-vaccine content (online) in 2016. I think it’s important to step back and see the larger picture… this is one of MANY conversations they infiltrated. (Thread) theguardian.com/society/2018/a… I won’t pretend to understand ALL of their motivations, but there are a few trends here. 1) Infiltrating and cultivating online activism. 2) Fostering an epistemology that “questions more”—questioning experts in science, journalists, etc.
Aug 17, 2018 5 tweets 1 min read
New research shows how the Russian Internet Research Agency targeted African Americans before the 2016 election, first with a benign ad fostering solidarity, then right before the election with an ad encouraging them not to vote. nytimes.com/2018/08/16/tec… This study was led by University of a Wisconsin-Madison professor Young Mie Kim. This article about that study talks about how initial messaging made “identity” appeals, likely to gain trust. Latter messaging aligned with RU’s strategic aims (in this case to reduce Dem votes)
Jul 18, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
This story has a huge impact on how we understand the “fake news” ecosystem... it is very hard to disentangle financial and political motivations for the different entities in this ecosystem, and there are efforts to hide political motives beneath financial ones. It also provides some insight into the “why” of the content sharing practices that are rampant in this ecosystem - because it’s free content. That likely incentivizes those who wish to propagate certain narratives to make their content easily accessible to these sites.
Jun 18, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
In our research on polarized discourse we’ve seen quoted tweets enabling a kind of back alley ambush... pulling a person (the quoted author) out of their bubble & into yours, so you & your friends can dogpile them, where their friends can’t see and therefore don’t know to help. And by *you* here I mean anyone, all of us who use the feature to challenge someone else on Twitter. Not specifically Charlie.
May 31, 2018 6 tweets 2 min read
This article on “flat earth” believers describes some of the “ways of knowing” that support this and other, related ideologies and highlights how social media platforms help draw people into these epistemic communities. newyorker.com/science/elemen… "The conference audience was frequently encouraged to 'do your own research,' which mostly seemed to involve watching more YouTube videos and boning up on Scripture."
May 30, 2018 4 tweets 1 min read
Exactly. Roseanne’s information diet was rooted in the conspiratorial disinformation ecosystem that bridged alt right and occupy left. Like too many others, these lies became her ideology. With her ‘celebrity’ status, she was likely a target for the ‘media manipulators’ who sought to amplify their messages using her voice. Today, you can see her being fed the memes to support her disinformed positions (e.g. on Jarret’s background).
Jan 20, 2018 6 tweets 3 min read
Recently, our lab published a paper “frame contests” within the #BlackLivesMatter and #BlueLivesMatter conversations on Twitter in 2016. Not surprisingly, those conversations often had a very divisive tone. faculty.washington.edu/kstarbi/Stewar… [thread] For that work, we created a shared audience graph that demonstrated the underlying structure of those frame contests—and clearly demonstrated two “sides” of the political conversation. Echo chambers.