W05: Workshop on Understanding the Positive and Negative Sides of Social Media (PANSOM'13)
Organizers: Amparo Elizabeth Cano, Yulan He, Kang Liu and Daniele Quercia
In recent years, social media have continued to grow in popularity and have become a powerful platform for people to unite together under common interests. The explosive use of social media has turned it into a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the information revolution has proven to have a positive impact in society, for example, the use of social platforms in bringing information out of conflicted nations to the World (e.g. Iranian elections 2009 and Egyptian revolution 2011), word spreading-based mobilisation in emergency response and crisis situations, etc. On the other hand, social media platforms have appeared to be also the catalyst in fuelling violent events (e.g. during the UK riots in 2011). The proliferation of insults and personal attacks online along with the appearance of socially disruptive patterns in online social behaviour has become more and more common. Social media addiction also leads to low self-esteem and even anti-social behaviours. This workshop will explore the novel use of techniques from machine learning, data mining, text mining, information retrieval, statistics, information security and privacy, and user modelling, to identify patterns of potentially positive and negative communication in social media by examining the online content, social interactions, and user behaviours. It will also study the metrics in measuring the positive and negative impact of social media on individuals, business organizations, and government agencies. The analysis and mining of these patterns aim to promote positive activities in social media, while at the same time reveal harmful aspects of social media and suggest way to tackle and to overcome the negative side. The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers from various backgrounds including those from computer science, social sciece, and psychology, to discuss the current and emergent topics, and cutting-edge approaches to address issues relating to both positive and negative sides of social media.