• Research,  Students,  WhatsApp

    WhatsFarzi: Analyzing Fake / Manipulated content / Misinformation on WhatsApp

    As mobile coverage penetrates the most remote areas and data packages become cheaper every day, over 4 billion people across the world today have access to the Internet, of which more than 56% traffic comes from mobile devices. This is especially true in developing countries like India, where more than 430 million Indians out of the total online population of 462 million access the Internet through  mobile phones. WhatsApp is the most popular personal messaging service in India, with more than 200 million users, the highest in the world. One of the biggest side effects of WhatsApp’s deep penetration is its misuse as a medium to disseminate misinformation. Last year,…

  • Elections2019,  Research

    Twitter’s “suspect users” affects Indian political handles

    Twitter removed “suspected users” from their platform during the week of Nov 1, 2018. This is potentially about 2.4 Million handles. Given our interest in analyzing political accounts in India, we were keen on analyzing how much of this affected the Indian political scenario. We found a large number of handles losing followers. Lets look at some of the handles which lost large numbers of followers because of this removal of suspected users.   The handle @KirenRijiju had 599K followers on Nov 7, 2018 and it had 475K followers on Nov 8, 2018. The handle lost about 124K followers in one day. Below is a graph showing this in more…

  • Experiences,  Research,  Students

    A Epistle open letter to Precog, PK & RK

    Dear Precog,PK & RK, Because we together had written lines and lines on Latex, so now its high time to revise, relive and revive something ‘unread’ between those lines. Hold a cup of coffee and have a flashback 😉 So Let me start with day zero when I got the first glance of your presence, it was one fine afternoon while exploring things around Higher studies and research opportunities I came across NPTEL Course – Privacy and Security in Online Social Media, which was obviously fascinating for me because I am a person who likes to live one life on planet Called Social Media. After getting in to course my…

  • Experiences,  Students

    Life on the 4th Floor

    For people who’ve known me all through my stint at IIIT-Delhi, the title of this blog should come as no surprise. I was infamous for spending a good portion (read: majority) of my time sitting in/around the 4th floor of the (old) Academic building to the extent that I have been called ‘4th floor boy’ at multiple points. The 4th floor of the Old Academic Building was home to the Precog lab (at the time) and was the primary reason for me spending most of my waking hours in this part of campus. While this may seem excessive (also slightly exaggerated), I can confidently say that my time at Precog…

  • ProfGiri,  Students

    This is Why I Love My #ProfGiri #3

    Once again it is that time of the academic year when all graduating students and Research Associates are moving / moved on to the next phase in their life; starting work or grad school in India or flying off to some grad school outside India. It is super gratifying to see students achieve their goals, and more satisfying to play a role in the process. Below is the list of students (arranged in alphabetical order of last name) who have spent significant amount of time working with me this year / last 2 years or more / who are graduating with me or I have written a Letters of Recommendation…

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  • ProfGiri,  Social Media,  Students,  Teaching

    Projects, Methodology, Results, and Blogs. Privacy and Security in Online Social Media @ IIITH

    Continuing the tradition of capturing project ideas, methodologies, results, and artefacts from the course in a blog, here are the projects from the Fall 2018 edition of PSOSM @ IIITH. For Fall 2017 edition @ IIITD, please visit here. I taught TM18004: Privacy and Security in Online Social Media in Fall 2018 semester. This is my 1st full time teaching experience at IIIT Hyderabad. It was super exciting to teach as a faculty in the same institute where I had taken courses (in 2003 / 2004). It now makes most sense to me why faculty who teach at their alum institutes take so much pride, I have so many friends…

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  • Experiences,  Students

    Intelligent Tutors, Robotics and Fun: RISS’18 @ CMU

    I’ve (Shiven Mian, B.Tech. Class of 2019) had the privilege of working with the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University (the world’s largest Robotics facility) for the past 9 months, and spent Summer 2018 (June – August) at CMU’s sprawling campus as a FICCI Research Scholar in the Robotics Institute Summer Scholars (RISS) program (where I was one of 35 undergrads selected around the world). I’m working with Dr. Jack Mostow (Research Professor Emeritus, CMU) on the RoboTutor project (formerly Project LISTEN), which is one of the five $1M Global Finalists in the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE Challenge, funded by Elon Musk. The project is an Android-based Intelligent Tutoring System…

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  • Experiences,  Students

    class undergradAtPrecog(IIITD):

    def  __init(self)__: How I got to know about Precog is quite dramatic (call it fate? hahaha). It had been a really long day (Intro to Engineering Design project demo, IIRC) and I was walking past GB Pant towards the metro station. To give a rough idea about how far back I’m talking about: Phase II construction of the college was yet to begin, attendance was never recorded in any lecture, and Ubers were allowed to enter college premises. As I was walking, absolutely dreading the hour long ride back home, a car stopped by and offered me a ride till the metro station. And I begin an extremely foolish (and…

  • Elections2019,  Research,  Social Media

    Has the battle for General Elections 2019 shifted online?

    Social Media, today, is playing a very important role in the politics of almost every nation. In India, there has been a boom in social media political campaigns, which was more marked in the 2014 General Elections.  All major political parties used social media to promote their manifestos and interact in the public domain in a one-to-one manner. They analysed different views of the people, and worked on them. The Home Minister, in a seminar after the 2014 general elections, also said that “Through social media, the government is outlining its plan, its vision”. After assuming power, the NDA government has been using Twitter, Facebook and blogs to outline its…

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