CIVICA Applied Data Science Seminar Series

Session 1 - Spring 2024

Session 1 - Spring 2024 will take place on Wednesday, 4:00 PM CET 07 February 2024, on Zoom Meeting

About The Series

The CIVICA Data Science Seminar series is a unique multi-disciplinary series focused on applications and methodologies of data science for the social, political, and economic world.

Session 1 Details

In most advanced democracies, concerns about the spread of misinformation are most often associated with feed-based social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and these platforms also account for the vast majority of research on the topic. However, in most of the world, particularly in Global South countries, misinformation often reaches citizens through social media messaging apps, particularly WhatsApp. To fill the resulting gap in the literature, we conducted a multimedia deactivation experiment intended to test the impact of reduced exposure to potential sources of misinformation on WhatsApp during the weeks leading up to the 2022 Presidential election in Brazil. We find that this treatment significantly reduced subjects' exposure to false rumours circulating widely during the election. However, consistent with theories of mass media's minimal effects, a short-term reduction in exposure to misinformation ahead of the election did not lead to significant changes in belief accuracy or political polarisation.

Seminar Speaker

Tiago Ventura
Tiago Ventura

Tiago Ventura is an Assistant Professor in Computational Social Science. He previously worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the Center for Social Media and Politics at New York University, and a researcher at Twitter. As a computational social scientist, he has worked on substantive issues in political communication, social media, and political behavior, with a focus on studies on content activation and propagation, misinformation, and polarization in Latin American countries. Methodologically, he is interested in causal inference problems, online field and survey experiments, network models to deal with large volumes of data, and applications of natural language processing to social science problems.


Virginia Rocha

Welcome Introduction Virginia Rocha, EUI

Setting the scene: Brief intro to the speaker and his talk

Tiago Ventura

Seminar Session Prof. Tiago Ventura

Misinformation exposure beyond traditional feeds: Evidence from a WhatsApp deactivation experiment in Brazil

Research Discussion. Lead Institution

Q&A / Discussion on the research


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