Pitt researchers studying how conspiratorial content spreads online received a Foundational Integrity Research award from Meta Platforms.
The project, which will use population-level sampling to trace and measure the influence of online conspiratorial content, is led by Yu-Ru Lin, associate professor in Pitt’s School of Computing and Information. It will build on the work Lin does as principal investigator of the Pitt Computational Social Dynamics (PISCO) Lab, analyzing patterns of change within complex social systems.
The team of researchers — which includes co-investigator Amin Rahimian, assistant professor of industrial engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering — hopes to identify communities that are particularly vulnerable to conspiratorial content.
Meta received more than 500 proposals from 349 universities and institutions around the world for the research award, and Lin’s project on the spread of conspiratorial content was one of 11 winners. The winning research projects focus on domains such as misinformation, violence and incitement, hate speech and coordinated harm.