Ars Technica reports on a paper on complex networks and resilience – in this case, the resilience of hate speech.
But there may be hope: researchers have developed a “map” of how distrust in health expertise spreads through social networks, according to a new paper published in the journal Nature. Such a map could help public health advocates better target their messaging efforts.
Neil Johnson is a physicist at George Washington University, where he heads theÂ Complexity and Data Science initiative, specializing in combining “cross-disciplinary fundamental research with data science to attack complex real-world problems.” For instance, last year, the initiativeÂ published a study in NatureÂ mapping how clusters of hate groups interconnectÂ to spread narratives and attract new recruits. They found that the key to the resilience of online hate is that theÂ networks spread across multiple social media platforms, countries, and languages.
We need resilience to keep our comm networks and supply networks up and running, so the tendencies the researchers spot are significant. But just as immediately, those trends of how hate speech and mis-information circulate is valuable to getting things under control on social networks.
â€œThe analogy is no matter how much weed killer you place in a yard, the problem will come back, potentially more aggressively,” Johnson said at the time. “In the online world, all yards in the neighborhood are interconnected in a highly complex wayâ€”almost like wormholes. This is why individual social media platforms like Facebook need new analysis such as ours to figure out new approaches to push them ahead of the curve.â€