Walter Quattrociocchi

Walter Quattrociocchi
Sapienza University of Rome | la sapienza · Department of Computer Science

Ph.D

About

156
Publications
95,409
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9,347
Citations
Citations since 2016
107 Research Items
8741 Citations
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Introduction
Walter Quattrociocchi is Associate Professor at Sapienza University of Rome where he leads the Center of Data Science and Complexity for Society (CDCS. His research interests include data science, network science, cognitive science, and data-driven modeling of dynamic processes in complex networks. His activity focuses on the data-driven modeling of social dynamics such as (mis)information spreading and the emergence of collective phenomena.

Publications

Publications (156)
Preprint
Full-text available
Social media platforms heavily changed how users consume and digest information and, thus, how the popularity of topics evolves. In this paper, we explore the interplay between the virality of controversial topics and how they may trigger heated discussions and eventually increase users' polarization. We perform a quantitative analysis on Facebook...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change and political polarization are two of the twenty-first century’s critical socio-political issues. Here we investigate their intersection by studying the discussion around the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP) using Twitter data from 2014 to 2021. First, we reveal a large increase in ideological polariza...
Chapter
Full-text available
Social media platforms like Twitter play a pivotal role in public debates. Recent studies showed that users online tend to join groups of like-minded peers, called echo chambers, in which they frame and reinforce a shared narrative. Such a polarized configuration may trigger heated debates and foment misinformation spreading. In this work, we explo...
Article
Conspiracy theories proliferate online. We provide an overview of information consumption patterns related to conspiracy content on four mainstream social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit), with a focus on niche ones. Opinion polarisation and echo chambers appear as pivotal elements of communication around conspiracy theories...
Article
We explore the effects of coordinated users (i.e., users characterized by an unexpected, suspicious, or exceptional similarity) in information spreading on Twitter by quantifying the efficacy of their tactics in deceiving feed algorithms to maximize information outreach. In particular, we investigate the behavior of coordinated accounts within a la...
Preprint
Several studies pointed out that users seek the information they like the most, filter out dissenting information, and join groups of like-minded users around shared narratives. Feed algorithms may burst such a configuration toward polarization, thus influencing how information (and misinformation) spreads online. However, despite the extensive evi...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic has been characterized by a social media “infodemic”: an overabundance of information whose authenticity may not always be guaranteed. With the potential to lead individuals to harmful decisions for the society, this infodemic represents a severe threat to information security, public health and democracy. In this paper, we as...
Article
Users online tend to consume information adhering to their system of beliefs and ignore dissenting information. During the COVID-19 pandemic, users get exposed to a massive amount of information about a new topic having a high level of uncertainty. In this article, we analyze two social media that enforced opposite moderation methods, Twitter and G...
Preprint
Full-text available
Climate change and political polarisation are two of the 21st century's critical social and political issues. However, their interaction remains understudied. Here, we investigate the online discussion around the UN Conference of The Parties on Climate Change (COP) using Twitter data from 2014 to 2021. First, we reveal a large increase in ideologic...
Article
The COVID-19 information epidemic, or “infodemic,” demonstrates how unlimited access to information may confuse and influence behaviors during a health emergency. However, the study of infodemics is relatively new, and little is known about their relationship with epidemics management. Here, we discuss unresolved issues and propose research directi...
Article
Full-text available
Online debates are often characterised by extreme polarisation and heated discussions among users. The presence of hate speech online is becoming increasingly problematic, making necessary the development of appropriate countermeasures. In this work, we perform hate speech detection on a corpus of more than one million comments on YouTube videos th...
Article
Full-text available
On the Internet, information circulates fast and widely, and the form of content adapts to comply with users’ cognitive abilities. Memes are an emerging aspect of the internet system of signification, and their visual schemes evolve by adapting to a heterogeneous context. A fundamental question is whether they present culturally and temporally tran...
Preprint
Reply to Comment on “The COVID-19 infodemic does not affect vaccine acceptance”, appeared on OSF preprints, on July 23, 2021 by Gallotti et al.
Preprint
UNSTRUCTURED Social media radically changed how information is consumed and reported and elicited a disintermediated access to an unprecedented amount of content. The world health organization (WHO) coined the term infodemics to identify the information overabundance during an epidemic. Indeed, the spread of inaccurate and misleading information ma...
Preprint
How does information consumption affect behaviour in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic? A popular hypothesis states that the so-called infodemics has substantial impact on orienting individual decisions. A competing hypothesis stresses that exposure to vast amounts of even contradictory information has little effect on personal choices. We analy...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the defining events of our time. National Governments responded to the global crisis by implementing mobility restrictions to slow down the spread of the virus. To assess the impact of those policies on human mobility, we perform a massive comparative analysis on geolocalized data from 13 M Facebook users in France,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social media radically changed how information is consumed and reported. Moreover, social networks elicited a disintermediated access to an unprecedented amount of content. The world health organization (WHO) coined the term infodemics to identify the information overabundance during an epidemic. Indeed, the spread of inaccurate and misleading info...
Preprint
Full-text available
Users online tend to consume information adhering to their system of beliefs and to ignore dissenting information. During the COVID-19 pandemic, users get exposed to a massive amount of information about a new topic having a high level of uncertainty. In this paper, we analyze two social media that enforced opposite moderation methods, Twitter and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Online debates are often characterised by extreme polarisation and heated discussions among users. The presence of hate speech online is becoming increasingly problematic, making necessary the development of appropriate countermeasures. In this work, we perform hate speech detection on a corpus of more than one million comments on YouTube videos th...
Preprint
On the Internet, information circulates fast and widely, and the form of content adapts to comply with users' cognitive abilities. Memes are an emerging aspect of the internet system of signification, and their visual schemes evolve by adapting to a heterogeneous context. A fundamental question is whether they present culturally and temporally tran...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Significance We explore the key differences between the main social media platforms and how they are likely to influence information spreading and the formation of echo chambers. To assess the different dynamics, we perform a comparative analysis on more than 100 million pieces of content concerning controversial topics (e.g., gun control, vaccinat...
Article
Full-text available
We address the diffusion of information about the COVID-19 with a massive data analysis on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and Gab. We analyze engagement and interest in the COVID-19 topic and provide a differential assessment on the evolution of the discourse on a global scale for each platform and their users. We fit information spreading wit...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
We develop a minimalist compartmental model to study the impact of mobility restrictions in Italy during the Covid-19 outbreak. We show that, while an early lockdown shifts the contagion in time, beyond a critical value of lockdown strength the epidemic tends to restart after lifting the restrictions. We characterize the relative importance of diff...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have shown that online users tend to select information that adheres to their system of beliefs, ignore information that does not, and join groups that share a common narrative. This information environment can elicit tribalism instead of informed debate, especially when issues are controversial. Algorithmic solutions, fact-checking...
Article
Full-text available
The advent of social media changed the way we consume content, favoring a disintermediated access to, and production of information. This scenario has been matter of critical discussion about its impact on society, magnified in the case of the Arab Springs or heavily criticized during Brexit and the 2016 U.S. elections. In this work we explore info...
Article
Full-text available
Significance This paper presents a large-scale analysis of the impact of lockdown measures introduced in response to the spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on socioeconomic conditions of Italian citizens. We leverage a massive near–real-time dataset of human mobility and we model mobility restrictions as an exogenous shock to the e...
Preprint
Most of the information operations involve users who may foster polarization and distrust toward science and mainstream journalism, without these users being conscious of their role. Gab is well known to be an extremist-friendly platform that performs little control on the posted content. Thus it represents an ideal benchmark for studying phenomena...
Preprint
The policies implemented to hinder the COVID-19 outbreak represent one of the largest critical events in history. The understanding of this process is fundamental for crafting and tailoring post-disaster relief. In this work we perform a massive data analysis, through geolocalized data from 13M Facebook users, on how such a stress affected mobility...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent studies have shown that online users tend to select information adhering to their system of beliefs, ignore information that does not, and join groups - i.e., echo chambers - around a shared narrative. Although a quantitative methodology for their identification is still missing, the phenomenon of echo chambers is widely debated both at scie...
Preprint
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, National governments have applied lockdown restrictions to reduce the infection rate. We perform a massive analysis on near real-time Italian data provided by Facebook to investigate how lockdown strategies affect economic conditions of individuals and local governments. We model the change in mobility as an ex...
Preprint
Full-text available
We develop a minimalist compartmental model to analyze policies on mobility restriction in Italy during the Covid-19 outbreak. Our findings show that a early lockdowns barely shift the epidemic in time: moreover, beyond a critical value of the lockdown strength, an epidemic that seems to be quelled fully recovers after lifting the restrictions. We...
Article
Full-text available
The social brain hypothesis approximates the total number of social relationships we are able to maintain at 150. Similar cognitive constraints emerge in several aspects of our daily life, from our mobility to the way we communicate, and might even affect the way we consume information online. Indeed, despite the unprecedented amount of information...
Article
Full-text available
Despite their entertainment oriented purpose, social media changed the way users access information, debate, and form their opinions. Recent studies, indeed, showed that users online tend to promote their favored narratives and thus to form polarized groups around a common system of beliefs. Confirmation bias helps to account for users’ decisions a...
Preprint
The massive diffusion of social media fosters disintermediation and changes the way users are informed, the way they process reality, and the way they engage in public debate. The cognitive layer of users and the related social dynamics define the nature and the dimension of informational threats. Users show the tendency to interact with informatio...
Preprint
Selective exposure is the main driver for the economy of attention when consuming online content. We select information adhering to our system of beliefs and ignore dissenting information. However, even personal interest is likely to play a role in determining our attention patterns. To understand in more detail the dynamics of interest-driven choi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The advent of social media changed the way we consume content favoring a disintermediated access and production. This scenario has been matter of critical discussion about its impact on society. Magnified in the case of Arab Spring or heavily criticized in the Brexit and 2016 U.S. elections. In this work we explore information consumption on Twitte...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent studies, targeting Facebook, showed the tendency of users to interact with information adhering to their preferred narrative and to ignore dissenting information. Primarily driven by confirmation bias, users tend to join homogeneous and polarized clusters (i.e., echo chambers) where they cooperate to frame and reinforce a like-minded system...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent studies, targeting Facebook, showed the tendency of users to interact with information adhering to their preferred narrative and to ignore dissenting information. Primarily driven by confirmation bias, users tend to join homogeneous and polarized clusters (i.e., echo chambers) where they cooperate to frame and reinforce a like-minded system...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite their playful purpose social media changed the way users access information, debate, and form their opinions. Recent studies, indeed, showed that users online tend to promote their favored narratives and thus to form polarized groups around a common system of beliefs. Confirmation bias helps to account for users’ decisions about whether to...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Within OSNs, many of our supposedly online friends may instead be fake accounts called social bots, part of large groups that purposely re-share targeted content. Here, we study retweeting behaviors on Twitter, with the ultimate goal of detecting retweeting social bots.We collect a dataset of 10M retweets. We design a novel visualization that we le...
Chapter
L’avvento di internet ha rivoluzionato il modo in cui comunichiamo e ci informiamo. Svanite le barriere spaziali e temporali, possiamo accedere a una pressoché infinita massa d’informazioni in modo facile e istantaneo. Nonostante l’entusiasta retorica sull’intelligenza collettiva, e tradendo le aspettative di molti, la Rete è anche terreno fertile...
Article
Full-text available
The past few years have seen intensive research efforts carried out in some apparently unrelated areas of dynamic systems-delay-tolerant networks, opportunistic-mobility networks, social networks-obtaining closely related insights. Indeed, the concepts discovered in these investigations can be viewed as parts of the same conceptual universe; and th...
Article
Full-text available
In this work we study, on a sample of 2.3 million individuals, how Facebook users consumed different information at the edge of political discussion and news during the last Italian electoral competition. Pages are categorized, according to their topics and the communities of interests they pertain to, in (a) alternative information sources (diffus...
Article
Full-text available
According to the World Economic Forum, the diffusion of unsubstantiated rumors on online social media is one of the main threats for our society. The disintermediated paradigm of content production and consumption on online social media might foster the formation of homogeneous communities (echo-chambers) around specific worldviews. Such a scenario...
Article
Full-text available
The wide availability of user-provided content in online social media facilitates the aggregation of people around common interests, worldviews, and narratives. However, the World Wide Web (WWW) also allows for the rapid dissemination of unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories that often elicit rapid, large, but naive social responses such a...
Article
Full-text available
Social media enabled a direct path from producer to consumer of contents changing the way users get informed, debate, and shape their worldviews. Such a disintermediation might weaken consensus on social relevant issues in favor of rumors, mistrust, or conspiracy thinking-e.g., chem-trails inducing global warming, the link between vaccines and auti...
Article
Full-text available
In this work we present a thorough quantitative analysis of information consumption patterns of qualitatively different information on Facebook. Pages are categorized, according to their topics and the communities of interests they pertain to, in a) alternative information sources (diffusing topics that are neglected by science and main stream medi...