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Goergen Institute for Data Science Seminar Series: Matt Auer & King-Wa Fu

September 14, 2016

Goergen Institute for Data Science Seminar Series

Insights on Public and Environmental Health Research from Social Media

Matt R. Auer, Bates College

King-Wa Fu, The University of Hong Kong


Social media platforms such as Twitter, or in the case of the present research, Weibo, provide ample sources of data for exploring perceptions of issues of public import, including health and environmental issues. Using Weiboscope, a tool developed by the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong, posts of hundreds of thousands of Chinese microbloggers who have more than 1,000 followers are sampled to developed large data sets for analysis. Weiboscope allows the user to identify censored posts, for example, the case of a popular video dealing with air pollution that led to censorship of Weibo posts in 2016. Weiboscope also allows the user to explore trends in public anxiety and information vs. misinformation involving the transmission and spread of such diseases as Ebola and Zika. Results of various studies using Weiboscope and information about open access data are considered in this presentation.


King-wa Fu is an Associate Professor at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC), The University of Hong Kong. His research interests include political participation and media use, computational media studies, mental health/suicide and the media, health communication, and young people's Internet use. He has a PhD from the JMSC, a MA in Social Sciences and an MPhil in Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Dr. Fu is a Fulbright-RGC Hong Kong Senior Research Scholar 2016-2017.

Matthew R. Auer is the Dean of Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bates College. He earned an AB in Anthropology from Harvard College, an MA in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a PhD in Forestry and Environmental Studies from Yale University.

WHERE: Goergen 101

WHEN: 12:55 PM

HOST: Katrina Korfmacher

Category: Talks