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DONDENA Seminar - David Lazer

Full talk
Remote video URL
The Emergent Structure of the Online Information Ecosystem

"The Emergent Structure of the Online Information Ecosystem" ;

David Lazer; DONDENA Research Centre Seminar, Bocconi University, Milan


"The Emergent Structure of the Online Information Ecosystem"



The first part of this presentation examines the emergent and sometimes paradoxical logic of the internet news ecosystem, in particular: collectively, news diets have become far more concentrated in a small number of outlets; however, individuals have relatively diverse news diets-- almost certainly far more diverse than was plausible pre-Internet (as measured by number of unique content producers); the social-algorithmic curation system of the Internet tends to point people to content with their preferences, sometimes in unlikely places. The greater diversity of consumption of news measured by number of unique outlets may not actually result in diversity of content.

The second part of the presentation will discuss the development of the National Internet Observatory, a large, NSF-supported effort to create a privacy-preserving data collection/data analytic system for the broader research community.




David Lazer is University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer Sciences, Northeastern University, faculty fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard, and elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He has published prominent work on computational social science, misinformation, democratic deliberation, collective intelligence, and algorithmic auditing, across a wide range of prominent journals such as ScienceNatureProceedings of the National Academy of Science, and the American Political Science Review. His research has received extensive coverage in the media, including the New York TimesNPR, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.  He is a co-leader of the COVID States Project, one of the leading efforts to understand the social and political dimensions of the pandemic in the United States. He is cofounder of the National Internet Observatory and Volunteer Science. Dr. Lazer has served in multiple leadership and editorial positions, including on the Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication for the National Academies, the International Society for Computational Social Science, the International Network for Social Network Analysis, Social NetworksNetwork Science, and Science.


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