Chapter 1

Introduction to social media and social networks

Abstract

Social network analysis is an ideal tool for gaining insights into our increasingly connected world. Tools such as NodeXL allow us to create maps of social connections that are instantiated in social media interactions. Social media has the potential to improve social priorities such as government transparency, disaster response, education, and citizen science. However, it also has been increasingly used for nefarious purposes in recent years through misinformation campaigns, profiling, election meddling, and anti-vaccine propaganda. Researchers in social network analysis have provided a set of concepts and metrics to systematically study these dynamic processes. Innovators ...

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