The joint PaCSS and PolNet 2020 conference will take place virtually and will only be open to registered attendees. The registration fee of $20 will help us cover conference expenses. We are dedicated to keeping this conference open and accessible and we ask that you email us at politics.css@gmail.com if you would like to request a registration waiver. Register now. The conference will take place online August 10-14 and consist of a series of modular, daily sessions taking place between 11 am – 3 pm EDT.

Check out SAGE publishing’s PaCSS/PolNet conference page for special discounts and resources!

11am-12pm EDT 12pm – 12:50pm EDT 1pm – 1:50pm EDT 2pm – 3pm EDT
Mon.
Aug 10
PaCSS Welcoming remarks
and plenary by

Betsy Sinclair, WUSTL
AV & Images Tools for
better CSS
Networking 1
PolNet Conflict & Networks Network Diffusion
Tues.,
Aug 11
PaCSS Mentoring 1 Conflict & Computation Natural Language Processing Poster
Session
PolNet Law & Courts Legislative polarization
Wed.
Aug 12
PaCSS Social Media
and Democracy
Measurement
& Classification
SAGE Texti
focus group
Mentoring 2
PolNet Design &
Measurement
Signed Networks Panel: Non-academic
careers
Thurs.
Aug 13
PaCSS PaCSS Business meeting Experiments New Media Happy Hour
Joint Networking 2 Campaigns Text and networks
Fri.
Aug 14
PaCSS Agent-Based Models Text & Discourse COVID 2 Plenary by
Deen Freelon, UNC-Chapel Hill
and closing remarks
Joint Polarization COVID 1 Social media & politics

 

Monday

Monday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
Welcoming remarks and plenary by

Betsy Sinclair, Washington University in St Louis
Team Science and the Last Mile: Computational Social Science at the Frontier
Join Now (Password required)
In this talk, Betsy Sinclair characterizes how computational social science research improves our neighborhoods, communities, and governments. She argues that the frontier of the field is that of a collaborative science where teams are able to not only successfully innovate on foundational and basic science questions but also to translate that research to the tools ordinary citizens need to live better lives. She illustrates this possibility by connecting her first book (The Social Citizen) to her online mobile app (Magnify Your Voice). To learn more go to: www.magnifyyourvoice.com.

Betsy Sinclair is a Professor of Political Science at Washington University in St Louis. Interested in questions surrounding political networks and engagement, her research has focused on the ways in which our family, friends and neighbors impact our political behaviors and choices (first book: The Social Citizen) as well as strategies to improve digital citizenship (second book: A Connected America). She is particularly interested in causal inference, spillover, and measurement of influence. She is the current president of Visions of Methodology, an organization dedicated to raising self-identified women’s voices in the field of political methodology, and the incoming president for the Society of Political Methodology, the international academic society dedicated to the advancement of political methodology research. She has three children and loves mountains and wild spaces.

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Monday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
PaCSS: Audio, video and images

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A Video is Worth a Thousand Words — Enriching the Understanding of Foreign Policy Preferences Using Computer Vision
Cosima Meyer (she/her/hers), University of Mannheim Dennis Hammerschmidt, University of Mannheim

Multimodal Representations Using Modality Translation
Patrick Wu (he/him/his), University of Michigan; Walter R. Mebane, Jr., University of Michigan

Assessing Attitude Strength Using the Audio and Video from Telephone, In-Person, and Online Surveys
Bryce Dietrich (he/him/his), University of Iowa; Jeff Mondak, University of Illinois; Tarah Williams, Allegheny College, Matt Butler, University of Iowa

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Monday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
PolNet: Conflict and Networks

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Conflict Cycles: International cooperation and competition
Jared Edgerton (he/him/his), The Ohio State University

Security Hierarchies in International Relations
Cody Schmidt (he/him/his), University of Iowa

The effects of violence on social network composition and formation: Evidence from IDP camps in Myanmar
Daniel Thomas (he/him/his), Columbia University

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Monday, 1 pm – 1:50 pm EDT
PaCSS: Tools for better Computational Social Science 

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A Digital Scholarship Lab for Social Good: Using Feminist Epistemologies to Address Gender Equity in STEM and to Demystify Technology in the Social Sciences
Jacquelyne Howard, Newcomb Institute

Translation for the rest of us: Usable word-level translation for automated text analysis
Maurits van der Veen, William & Mary

Adaptive Fuzzy String Matching
Aaron Kaufman, NYU Abu Dhabi; Aja Klevs, NYU Center for Data Science

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Monday, 1 pm – 1:50 pm EDT
PolNet: Network Diffusion

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Where to Pick From? International Bargaining over Policy Diffusion
Lisa Lechner (she/her/hers), University of Innsbruck; Matthew Rablen, University of Sheffield

The Role of Hashtags in Information Diffusion in Congress
Cantay Caliskan (he/him/his), Denison University; Dino P. Christenson, Boston University

A model of strategic diffusion on a network
Romain Ferrali (he/him/his), New York University – Abu Dhabi; Olivier Bochet, NYU Abu Dhabi; Yves Zenou, Monash University

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Monday, 2 pm – 3 pm EDT
Networking 1

This semi-structured networking session will allow attendees to connect and chat informally in small groups. Sessions will take place on Yotribe, a web-based platform which allows participants to move around freely and chat in small groups with others. Suggested topical clusters will help participants connect with others who share similar interests. See your email for the link.

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Tuesday

Tuesday, 11 am -12 pm EDT
Mentoring 1

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This session will be an opportunity for scholars to receive professional development advice and to connect with peers. The session will take place in a single Zoom room with each mentor in a separate breakout room. From the main room you can change your display name or message the hosts to request to move to a breakout room. These requests will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis with each mentor assigned no more than 5-6 mentees. Attendees will be moved once at the beginning of the session and groups will remain the same for the full hour of the session.

Mentors during this hour are:
Tetiana Kostiuchenko, National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Topic: Engaged teaching and syllabus development

Elizabeth Menninga, University of Iowa
Topic: Academic job market

Zachary Neal, Michigan State University
Topic: Communicating your research

Yotam Shmargad, University of Arizona
Topic: Switching academic fields

Kelsey Shoub, University of South Carolina
Topic: Academic job market

Sarah Shugars, New York University
Topic: Navigating the hidden curriculum

Betsy Sinclair
Topic: Open

Nora Webb Williams, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Topic: Academic job market

Leah Windsor, The University of Memphis
Topic: The myth of work-life balance

Tuesday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
PaCSS: Conflict & Computation

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Planes, Trains, and Armored Mobiles: Measuring Heterogeneity in the Distribution of Military Capabilities
Andres Gannon (he/him/his), UC San Diego

The Power of Words: Peer Pressure and Strategies of Human Rights Promotion
Gino Pauselli (he/him/his), University of Pennsylvania

The Domino Effect: Proximity-Based Analysis of Civil Resistance Outcomes
Soha Hammam (she/her/hers), Claremont Graduate University

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Tuesday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
PolNet: Law & Courts

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Specialization or Generalization: Organizational Identity within the U.S. Supreme Court Advocacy Network
Sahar Abi-Hassan (she/her/hers), Mills College

The Price of Justice: Judicial Corruption through Favor Exchange
Sultan Mehmood, Aix-Marseille University; Bakhtawar Ali, Centre for Economic Research in Pakistan

The Dynamics of Immigration Networks before the Court
Seulah Choi (she/her/hers), Boston University; Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, The Ohio State University; Dino P. Christenson, Boston University

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Tuesday, 1 pm – 1:50 pm EDT
PaCSS: Natural Language Processing

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Troubles in/with Text: Finetuning NLP to Analyze Declassified Rationalizations of Rights Violations
Sarah Dreier (she/her/hers), University of Washington; Sofia Serreno, University of Washington; Emily K. Gade, Emory University; Noah A. Smith, University of Washington

Talking to the State: A content analysis of Twitter users’ communication with governments
Asilata Karandikar (she/her/hers), University of Mumbai

Estimating Policy Position from Political Speeches – A Comparative Analysis of Natural Language Processing Techniques for International Relations Research
Dennis Hammerschmidt (he/him/his), University of Mannheim

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Tuesday, 1 pm – 1:50 pm EDT
PolNet: Legislative Polarization

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Are networked legislators better at their jobs?
Jennifer Victor (she/her/hers), George Mason University

Analyzing clusterability in signed networks of political collaboration in US Senate
Samin Aref, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research; Zachary Neal (he/him/his) Michigan State University

A Friend or a Foe: Legislative Networks in the Ukrainian Parliament
Tetiana Kostiuchenko (she/her/hers), National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”; Olena Kovalska, National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”

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Tuesday, 2 pm – 3 pm EDT
Poster session

See the full poster list
Join Now (Password required)

This virtual poster session will provide an informal space for participants to share and discuss their work. The session will take place in a single Zoom room with each “poster” in a separate breakout room. From the main room you can change your display name or message the hosts to be moved to a breakout room of your choice. Attendees are welcome to join during any portion of the poster session and to change breakout rooms as many times as they would like. Similar to a traditional poster session, the format will be primarily conversational — attendees are encouraged to ask for a short summary of the work and to ask relevant followup questions. Poster presenters will have the option to share their screen if particular visuals are helpful, but there will be no formal presentation. Full poster list.

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Wednesday

Wednesday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
PaCSS: Social Media and Democracy

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Social Media and Democracy: The State of the Field and Prospects for Reform
Nathaniel Persily (he/him/his), Stanford University; Joshua Tucker (he/him/his),  New York University
This panel will include authors of the chapters in Persily and Tucker, Social Media and Democracy (forthcoming Sept 2020). Chapter topics include disinformation, hate speech, polarization, political advertising, and changes in the media industry.

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Wednesday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
PolNet: Design and Measurement

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Measuring Political Elite Networks with Wikidata
Omer Faruk Yalcin, Pennsylvania State University

Design and Analysis of Network Experiments: A Typology and Toolkit
Caleb Pomeroy (he/him/his), The Ohio State University; Skyler Cranmer, The Ohio State University

How You Ask Matters: Interview Requests as Laying Seeds in a Network
Josef Woldense (he/him/his), University of Minnesota Twin-Cities; Jane Sumner, University of Minnesota; AshLee Smith, University of Minnesota

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Wednesday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
PaCSS: Measurement and Classification

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The (Mis)Measure of Public Opinion from Digital Traces
Indira Sen (she/her/hers), GESIS; Fabian Floeck, GESIS; Katrin Weller, GESIS; Claudia Wagner, GESIS

How many professors are athletes? Networks of Identity and Identity in Networks on Twitter
Kenneth Joseph (he/him/his), University at Buffalo; Navid Madani, University at Buffalo; Arjunil Pathak, University at Buffalo

Interests on Social Platforms: Classification of Twitter Actors
Laura Moses (she/her/hers), The Ohio State University

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Wednesday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
PolNet: Signed Networks

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Signed network structure of international relations
Koji Oishi, Aoyama Gakuin University; Kentaro Sakuwa, Aoyama Gakuin University

Legislative effectiveness hangs in the balance
Samin Aref (he/him/his), Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research; Zachary Neal, Michigan State University

Network Analysis of Brexit-Related votes in the 57th UK Parliament (Paper)
Taha Yasseri, University College Dublin; Carla Intal, University of Oxford and LinkedIn

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Wednesday, 1 pm – 1:50 pm EDT
Track 1: Panel on Non-Academic Careers

Join Now (Password required)
Panelists:
Monica Lee, Facebook
Analía Gómez Vidal, Inter-American Development Bank
Stefan Wojcik, Twitter

Moderator:
Kelsey Campbell, Founder, Gayta Science

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Wednesday, 1 pm – 1:50 pm EDT
Track 2: SAGE Texti Focus Group

Join Now (Password required)

In this 1-hour session, we want to hear your feedback for Texti, a tool we are developing to help you reduce the amount of time you spend on cleaning and preparing your large text corpora (especially pdf, xml, json formats) for analysis. We will first demo a prototype of the tool and explain our thinking and hypothesis, while the remainder of the session will be a lively discussion with your feedback and thoughts on the tool: what could be improved, what’s not needed, does the navigation work, are the concepts and content clear or confusing, what would make the tool more useful and sustainable.

The session will be recorded, but will not made public.

Session attendees will be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win one of two raspberry pi 4 starter kits.

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Wednesday, 2 pm -3 pm EDT
Mentoring 2

Join Now (Password required)
This session will be an opportunity for scholars to receive professional development advice and to connect with peers. The session will take place in a single Zoom room with each mentor in a separate breakout room. From the main room you can change your display name or message the hosts to request to move to a breakout room. These requests will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis with each mentor assigned no more than 5-6 mentees. Attendees will be moved once at the beginning of the session and groups will remain the same for the full hour of the session.

Mentors during this hour include:
Pablo Barberá, Facebook & USC
Topic: Industry job market

Janet Box-Steffensmeier, The Ohio State University
Topic: Tenure / Succeeding as an assistant professor

Skyler Cranmer, The Ohio State University
Topic: Tenure / Succeeding as an assistant professor

Abigail Jacobs, University of Michigan
Topic: Managing an interdisciplinary career

Monica Lee, Facebook
Topic: Industry Job Market

Amy Magnus, Director, Quantum Autonomy LLC
Topic: Industry & Entrepreneurship

Arthur Spirling, New York University
Topic: Tenure / Succeeding as an assistant professor

Laila Wahedi, Facebook
Topic: Industry Job Market

Stefan Wojcik, Twitter
Topic: Industry Job Market

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Thursday

Thursday, 11 am – 12pm EDT
PaCSS Business Meeting

Join Now (Password required)

This open discussion will focus on the future of PaCSS and the goals of this burgeoning community. Facilitated by David Lazer.

Thursday, 11 am – 12pm EDT
Networking 2

This semi-structured networking session will allow attendees to connect and chat informally in small groups. Sessions will take place on Yotribe, a web-based platform which allows participants to move around freely and chat in small groups with others. Suggested topical clusters will help participants connect with others who share similar interests. Registered participants will have received the link via email.

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Thursday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
PaCSS: Experiments

Join Now (Password required)

The Effect of Streaming Chat on Perceptions of Debates
Kevin Munger (he/him/his), Penn State; Victoria Asbury, Harvard University; Keng-Chi Chang, University of California San Diego; Katherine McCabe, Rutgers University; Tiago Ventura, University of Maryland

“I think you shared fake news!”: Engagement with corrective messages on social media
Mohsen Mosleh (he/him/his), Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Cameron Martel, MIT; Dean Eckles, MIT; David Rand, MIT

Optimal Policies to Battle the Coronavirus “Infodemic” in Sub-Saharan Africa
Leah Rosenzweig (she/her/hers), Stanford University; Molly Offer-Westort, Stanford; Susan Athey, Stanford

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Thursday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
Joint Session: Campaigns

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Staying in the Race: Political Advertising Strategies in Response to a Crowded “Invisible Primary”
NaLette Brodnax (she/her/hers), Georgetown University; Piotr Sapiezynski, Northeastern University

Small Donors Networks in Congressional and Presidential Elections
Michael Kowal, Stevens Institute of Technology; Samuel Stoddard, College of the Holy Cross

Who Funds Political Ads on Facebook? Examining the Source Through the Receiver
Adina Gitomer (she/her/hers), Wesleyan University; Saray Shai, Wesleyan University

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Thursday, 1 pm – 1:50 pm EDT
PaCSS: New Media

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Media, Protest and Resistance in Authoritarian Contexts
Layla Hashemi (she/her/hers), George Mason University

Online Information Campaigns by Ideological Groups
Ali Mert Ertugrul (he/him/his), University of Pittsburgh; Yu-Ru Lin (University of Pittsburgh), Siqi Wu (Australian National University), Jooyoung Lee (Australian National University), Xian Teng (University of Pittsburgh), Muheng Yan (University of Pittsburgh)

Cable News for Young People: TikTok Politics
Fabio Votta (he/him/his), University of Amsterdam; Kevin Munger, Penn State University, Benjamin Guinaudeau, University of Konstanz

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Thursday, 1 pm – 1:50 pm EDT
Joint Session: Text and Networks

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Networks of Divergence? Negotiating Blocs in International Politics
Margaret Foster (she/her/hers), University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Tana Johnson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Maurits van der Veen, William & Mary

Touching Trolls – How Real People Respond to a Coordination Information Operation and Why They’re So Nice.
Patrick Warren (he/him/his), Clemson University; Darren Linvill, Clemson University

Brand Intelligence Analytics for Political Forecasting
Andrea Fronzetti Colladon, University of Perugia; Francesca Grippa, Northeastern University; Stefania Bait, University of Rome Tor Vergata

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Thursday, 2 pm – 3 pm EDT
Happy Hour

This open gathering will take place on Yotribe, a web-based platform which allows participants to move around freely and chat in small groups with others. Join this session to catch up with old friends and meet up with new friends. Beverages not included. Registered participants will have received the link via email.

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Friday

Friday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
PaCSS: Agent-Based Models

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Evaluating the Effects of Layered Access to Reentry Programs on Recidivism Rates with Agent-Based Modeling (LARPing with ABM)
Dwayne Smith (he/him/his), George Mason University

Simulating Single-Member District elections under alternative electoral systems
Samuel Baltz, University of Michigan

Can we reduce polarization on social media? Examining effects of selection and influence on political discussion
Chen-Shuo Hong (he/him/his), University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Friday, 11 am – 12 pm EDT
Joint Session: Understanding Polarization via Experiment, Simulation, and Text-as-Data

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Measuring Media Partisanship during Election: Indonesian Cases
Ardian Maulana (he/him/his), Bandung Fe Institute; Hokky Situngkir

Polarization in elite communication on guns
Jared Edgerton (he/him/his), The Ohio State University; Mallory Wagner, The Ohio State University, Jon Green, Daniel Naftel, Kelsey Shoub, Skyler Cranmer

The Consequences of Interparty Conversation on Outparty Affect and Stereotypes
Erin Rossiter (she/her/hers), Washington University in St. Louis

Friday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
PaCSS: Text & Discourse

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But Is She Married? Gender Bias and Users’ Gendered Interest in Politicians on Wikipedia
Theresa Gessler (she/her/hers), University of Zurich

Has President Trump Changed the Way Americans Talk About Immigration On Twitter?
Bryce Dietrich, University of Iowa; Nick Beauchamp (he/him/his), Northeastern University; Jielu Yao, University of Iowa; and Yuehong Tai, University of Iowa

Social Norms and the Dynamics of Online Incivility
Yotam Shmargad (he/him/his), University of Arizona; Kevin Coe, University of Utah; Stephen Rains, University of Arizona; Kate Kenski, University of Arizona

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Friday, 12 pm – 12:50 pm EDT
Joint Session: Computation & COVID 1

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Voice and Inequality in the Spread of COVID-19 Information and Misinformation
Sarah Shugars (she/they), Northeastern University/NYU; Ryan J. Gallagher, Northeastern University; Brooke Foucault Welles, Northeastern University; David Lazer, Northeastern University

Quantifying Silence: Examining Social Access to Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic
David Chartash, Yale University School of Medicine; Dr. Karen Wang, Yale University School of Medicine

If a Tree Falls in The Forest: COVID-19, Media Choices, and Presidential Agenda Setting
Masha Krupenkin (she/her/hers), Boston College; Kai Zhu, McGill University; Dylan Walker, Boston University; David Rothschild, Microsoft Research

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Friday, 1 pm – 1:50 pm EDT
PaCSS: Computation & COVID 2

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Characterizing user susceptibility to COVID-19 misinformation on Twitter
Xian Teng (she/her/hers), University of Pittsburgh; Yu-Ru Lin, University of Pittsburgh; Wen-Ting Chung, University of Pittsburgh; Muheng Yan, University of Pittsburgh; Mert Ertugrul, University of Pittsburgh

Twitter Is Real Life (for Journalists)
Stefan McCabe (he/him/his), Northeastern University; David Rothschild, Microsoft Research

A Retrospective Bayesian Model for Measuring Covariate Effects on Observed COVID-19 Test and Case Counts
Robert Kubinec, New York University Abu Dhabi; Luiz Max Carvalho, Getulio Vargas Foundation; Joan Barcelo, New York University Abu Dhabi; Cindy Cheng, Technical University of Munich; Allison Hartnett, University of Southern California; Luca Messerschmidt, Technical University of Munich

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Friday, 1 pm – 1:50 pm EDT
Joint: Social Media & Politics

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The Political Influence of Non-Politicized Friends: How do social networks affect protest participation?
Sangyeon Kim (he/him/his), The Pennsylvania State University

Strategic and Random Committee Structures in US State Legislatures
Ryan Dawe (he/him/his), The Ohio State University

Prevalence and Spread of Violent Political Rhetoric on Twitter
Taegyoon Kim (he/him/his), Penn State

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Friday, 2 pm – 3pm EDT
Closing Remarks and Plenary by

Deen Freelon, UNC-Chapel Hill
Hashtag heroes vs. disinfo dystopia: The left, the right, and the truth about social media activism
Join Now (Password required)

Recent scholarship has generated two distinct impressions of US-based social media activism, one for the ideological left and one for the right. For the left, the dominant mode of engagement is hashtag activism, which entails coordinated online and offline protest campaigns linked by hashtagged slogans. The right channels its priorities through a densely networked, hyperpartisan media ecosystem that makes frequent use of disinformation and other false claims. The respective empirical records underlying these portrayals are very solid, yet questions remain about how exclusively these strategic repertoires cling to ideological fault lines. In particular, there appears to be little extant research on either conservative hashtag-based activism or on left-leaning disinformation. A comprehensive understanding of social media activism demands further explorations of these possibilities, especially in the critical areas of mis- and disinformation. Computational research methods are especially well suited to such investigations.

Deen Freelon is an associate professor in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who studies political uses of social media and other digital technologies. He is also a principal researcher for UNC’s interdisciplinary Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP). He has authored or co-authored more than 50 journal articles, book chapters and public reports, in addition to co-editing one scholarly book. An expert in multiple programming languages including R, Python, and PHP, Freelon has written research-grade software applications for a range of computational research purposes. He formerly taught at American University in Washington, D.C.

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Please email politics.css@gmail.com with any questions.

About PaCSS/PolNet

The data and methodologies available to social scientists have exploded with the emergence of archives of digital data collection, large scale online experimentation, and innovative uses of simulation. The analysis of these data requires more complex methodological approaches and greater computational complexity than the approaches that have dominated the study of politics for the last 50 years.

The analysis of digital data  offers the potential for rich insights into society at scale but it also introduces new ethical and infrastructural challenges. In parallel, the information and communication technologies that have driven this data revolution are also driving changes in politics, around the world, that require study.

In order to understand the political world, it is increasingly important to gain access to the political communication and behavior occurring online. PolNet started in 2008 at Harvard University and has held an annual workshop and conference for 100-150 scholars who seek training and scholarship in network theories and methodologies related to questions of politics. The complementary, but differently focused group PaCCS, started in 2018 and offers a forum for computational social science research in this emerging space. Examples of relevant topics/approaches include: analysis of social media; text analysis; use of finely granular geographic data; and large scale online experimentation. We actively seek, welcome, and encourage people from all fields, industries, backgrounds, experiences, and identities to apply and attend.

PaCSS/PolNet 2020 is sponsored by Sage Publishing. Thanks also to our conference organizing committees:

PaCSS 2020 is co-organized by David Lazer and Sarah Shugars, with support from Michael Bailey, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Sandra González-Bailón, Stan Oklobdzija, Derek Ruths, Kelsey Shoub, Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld, Rebekah Tromble, and Jennifer Victor.

The PolNet 2020 program committee consists of Elizabeth J. Menninga (University of Iowa) and Justin H. Gross (UMass Amherst), with additional support by the PolNet 2020 hosts at UMass Amherst: Kevin L. Young, and Meredith Rolfe.