2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Friday, July 28 • 16:00 - 17:30
Workshop 2D: Hypothesis Testing with Online Network Data: Introduction to Exponential Random Graph Modelling (ERGM) (PART 2)

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Workshop Facilitator

Anatoliy Gruzd, PhD, Ryerson University, Canada
Deena Abul Fottouh, Ph.D, McMaster University, Canada


  • This workshop is for researchers who are familiar with Social Network Analysis (SNA). If you have not used SNA in your work before, please take Workshop 1B "Network for Newbies" offered in the morning.  
  • Knowledge of R is preferred but not required. If you don't have R and RStudio pre-installed on your laptop, you should be able to follow the workshop steps using a web-based version of R. 

Workshop Details

Participants will learn how to use SNA to analyze online communication networks. This part will also focus on how to use R package called statnet to perform hypothesis testing using Exponential Random Graph Modelling (ERGM). In particular, participants will learn how to use ERMG to test whether there is a tendency of online participants to connect to other users based on a common characteristic such as gender or their location.

Instructor’s Bio

Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd is a Canada Research Chair in Social Media Data Stewardship, Associate Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University (Canada) and Director of the Social Media Lab. He is also a co-editor of a multidisciplinary journal on Big Data and Society published by Sage and a co-editor of a special issue on Measuring Influence in Social Media for American Behavioral Scientist and a special issue on Understanding Online Communities for Information, Communication & Society. His research initiatives explore how the advent of social media is changing the ways in which people communicate, collaborate and disseminate information and how these changes impact the social, economic and political norms and structures of modern society.

Dr. Deena Abul Fottouh has recently finished her PhD in sociology at McMaster University. She is a holder of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for her research on Twitter networks of the activists of the Egyptian revolution. Deena’s research interests are in digital activism, computational sociology, social movements, and political sociology. She specializes in social network analysis, especially online networks. In her dissertation, Deena studied the evolution of Twitter networks of activists of the 2011 Egyptian revolution, and the turn of the movement from solidarity to schism. During her time at McMaster, Deena has travelled many times to the United States to receive extensive training in methods of social network analysis and scraping online data. She has presented her work in many international conferences of social network analysis. Her interest in digital activism has earned her a fellowship at the Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship at McMaster University. Before joining McMaster, Deena has been working as a Socio-economic Research Specialist with the United Nations Development Programme. 


Workshop Organizers
avatar for Deena Abul Fottouh

Deena Abul Fottouh

Postdoc, McMaster University
avatar for Anatoliy Gruzd

Anatoliy Gruzd

Associate Professor, Ryerson University
Canada Research Chair in Social Media Data Stewardship, Director of Research at the Social Media Lab (http://SocialMediaLab.ca/), Associate Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University

Friday July 28, 2017 16:00 - 17:30 EDT
TRS 1-077- 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C19