Media Room

The following news features cite commentary and/or research from Network Contagion Research Institute:


Here Are a Few of the Peer-Reviewed Reports, Published by Members of the NCRI Leadership Team:

“A Quantitative Approach to Understanding Online Antisemitism”

by Joel Finkelstein, Savvas Zannettou, Barry Bradlyn, Jeremy Blackburn.

A new wave of growing antisemitism, driven by fringe Web communities, is an increasingly worrying presence in the socio-political realm. The ubiquitous and global nature of the Web has provided tools used by these groups to spread their ideology to the rest of the Internet. Although the study of antisemitism and hate is not new, the scale and rate of change of online data has impacted the efficacy of traditional approaches to measure and understand this worrying trend. In this paper, we present a large-scale, quantitative study of online antisemitism.


“On the Origins of Memes by Means of Fringe Web Communities.” (2018)

by Savvas Zannettou, Tristan Caulfield, Jeremy Blackburn, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Michael Sirivianos, Gianluca Stringhini, Guillermo Suarez-Tangil. In Proceedings of the ACM Internet Measurement Conference (IMC), 2018 (Distinguished Paper Award).

Internet memes are increasingly used to sway and manipulate public opinion. This prompts the need to study their propagation, evolution, and influence across the Web. In this paper, we detect and measure the propagation of memes across multiple Web communities, using a processing pipeline based on perceptual hashing and clustering techniques, and a dataset of 160M images from 2.6B posts gathered from Twitter, Reddit, 4chan’s Politically Incorrect board (/pol/), and Gab, over the course of 13 months.


“What is Gab? A Bastion of Free Speech or an Alt-Right Echo Chamber?” (2018)

Savvas Zannettou, Barry Bradlyn, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Michael Sirivianos, Gianluca Stringhini, Haewoon Kwak, Jeremy Blackburn. In Proceedings of the WWW Companion, 2018.

Over the past few years, a number of new “fringe” communities, like 4chan or certain subreddits, have gained traction on the Web at a rapid pace. However, more often than not, little is known about how they evolve or what kind of activities they attract, despite recent research has shown that they influence how false information reaches mainstream communities.