• Experiences,  StudentGiri,  Students

    Journey of two years, learnings of a lifetime – My Precog Experience

    I remember first hearing about Precog and PK back in 2015 when I was seeking admission to IIIT Delhi. For a freshman in an institute with most of its faculty being graduates from the most prestigious universities around the world, Precog seemed to be one of its crown jewels: headed by a CMU graduate, doing socially relevant work, having several laurels to its name, its members at top places around the world, and as expected being super competitive to get into. As overwhelming as this seemed to me then, I always wanted to work hard, do projects and build my profile so that I can later try and make an…

  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Social Media Report Card

    Know Our Ministers: Social Media Report Cards of Our Ministers

    With the Ministers officially sworn in to serve the new government, we made an attempt to analyze their social media presence. In doing so we have come up with the Social Media Report Cards of the Ministers. We took the listing of the Ministers from the government document issued by the President of India. Among the Ministers who were sworn in on the 30th of May, there were 44 Ministers from Lok Sabha, amongst these 44 (Male = 39 Female = 5), 42 had social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). This blog is dedicated to analyzing the 42 ministers’ (Male = 37 Female = 5) social media presence. The…

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  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Phase 2,  Social Media,  VotingRound2

    #LokSabhaElections2019 Phase 1 vs Phase 2

    Phase 1 Phase 2 Total number of tweets (original, RTs, quotes) 235,833 280,256 Retweets 181,681 228,588 Quotes 8,697 6,296 Original tweet 45,455 45,372 Hashtags 123 91 Unique users who posted the tweets 99,794 84,659 Top 5 languages used in the post (derived the language from the Twitter JSON) English (140,163) Hindi (66,980) Telugu (2,899) Tamil (1,780) Marathi (1,510) English (134,325) Hindi (69,489) Tamil (40,903) Oriya (3,809) Marathi (2,752) Top 5 devices used to do the posts Twitter for Android (155,805) Twitter for iPhone (31,251) Twitter Web Client (22,930) Twitter Web App (16,871) Twitter for iPad (2,623) Twitter for Android (207,830) Twitter Web Client (24,847) Twitter for iPhone (22,312) Twitter Web…

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  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Phase1,  Social Computing,  VotingRound1

    Phase 1 #LokSabhaElections2019 Social Media Round-up

    Today the first of the seven phases of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 went underway in India; we had 91 constituencies spread across 20 states that went for polling. 14.21 crore Indians are expected to have casted their vote today. We collected Twitter data using 123 hashtags, and collected over 2 lakh tweets from 0300hrs until 1900hrs (stay tuned, we will make these data public soon). The cumulative distribution graph of the Tweets posted over the duration of the data collection with the top 5 hashtags can be seen below. The same graph, but depicting the Tweets posted with the top 5 mentions can be seen below. Further, we share the…

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  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Research,  Social Computing

    NaMo Vs RaGa: On Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

    As the nation gears up for the first phase of the parliamentary elections tomorrow, it will be interesting to see in detail the emerging candidates vying for the seat of the Prime Minister seat. Taking forward our empirical analysis of Social Media dialogues around elections, we analyze the two primary candidates, Narendra Modi (NaMo) and Rahul Gandhi (RaGa). In this blog, we have a look at their presence on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Before we get into the analysis of their profiles, we quickly visit the recently released manifestos of each of their parties and share a word cloud of the topics addressed in them. To obtain this…

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  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Research,  Social Computing

    Who-Follows-Whom?, #ChaupalOnTwitter, Political Satire Videos

    Who-Follows-Whom? Earlier in our ongoing blog series on the forthcoming Indian parliamentary elections we had characterized the following network of verified political handles. Today we share the results of analysing the follower/following patterns of these handles amongst each other. To understand the interactions between the political handles (otherwise parties), we populate a table which shows the ratio of total number of followings of one party to another by the total number of handles of that party. Below is the table with all the counts of followings of each party’s members against another party’s handles, e.g. total number of connections from all AAP accounts following BJP accounts is 912. Next, we…

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  • Elections2019,  Research,  Social Computing

    The #MainBhiChowkidar Campaign: 30% Verified, 36% non-verified Handles added Chowkidar to their Name

    Below is the first occurrence of the #MainBhiChowkidar by @narendramodi The tweet was dated March 15th 0900hrs IST. This hashtag was part of the campaign; we found this hashtag trending in India by 1100hrs. We were interested in studying the different facets of this campaign, in particular, name changes in the user name of the accounts, verified and others. Screen name / handle is restricted to 15 alphanumeric characters (letters A-Z, numbers 0-9) with the exception of underscores and name of the account is restricted to 50 alphanumeric characters, including special characters and emojis. First occurrence of MainBhiChowkidar Of the 1,268 verified handles (we reported 1,252 in our blog post…

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  • Building Systems,  Social Computing,  Students

    MIME: A Social Network for Meme Enthusiasts. A course project turned into 10,000+ Lines of Code.

    Memes have become a predominant means of expression in the Internet culture, they are not only used as a means of entertainment but as an important tool for advertising, spreading propaganda and even political ideologies. However, the creation of memes is limited to a niche community of content creators who are skilled in photo/video editing software. MIME is a platform which empowers people who lack these skills to become a part of the meme conversation. We built a one-stop solution for all meme needs – a maker space where people can create memes, a personalized meme feed, and a space to connect with other meme enthusiasts. Further, we hypothesize that…

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  • Experiences,  Students

    Why PreCog, you ask?

    I am writing this blog after spending more than two life-changing-years at PreCog – I joined in December 2016 as an intern and “graduated” as a Research Associate (RA) earlier this year. In my previous blog, I tried to capture my experience as an intern. As an RA, I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to initiate and lead the WhatsApp Misinformation/WhatsFarzi project with some amazing undergrads. Much of the technical details can be found in another blog. It feels extremely satisfying to share that the project I worked on as an intern got published as a full paper at ACM WebScience 2018, and WhatsFarzi got some cool media coverage (ToI article)…

  • Experiences,  Students

    Precog: The Extraordinary Voyage

    I am writing this blog after an exhilarating experience of 3 years spent at Precog. When I started my undergrad four years ago, little could I imagine that I’ll be conducting high impact research, building real-world systems, writing and publishing papers and even presenting them at top conferences across the globe. The freshman version of me just wanted to get a decent paying job! Yet 4 years later, here I am headed to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park and Max Planck Institute for Software Systems under the Maryland-Max Planck joint program. A good part of who I am today, professionally and academically,…

  • #LokSabhaElections2019,  Elections2019,  Phase6,  Research,  Social Computing,  VotingRound6

    #LokSabhaElections2019 #NCT #Delhi Political Handles, Popularity

    The constituencies in the NCT of Delhi are scheduled to go for elections on May 12th as part of phase six, in this analysis we take a closer look at the constituencies, candidates, their social media handles, etc. There are seven constituencies in Delhi, and 164 candidates will be contesting across these constituencies. 148 (90.25%) of the total candidates are males while 16 (9.75%) of the total candidates are females. We went through all the Affidavits* submitted by the candidates to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to collect each candidate’s demographics and social media details. The table below covers the distribution of social media handles that we were able…

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  • Books,  ProfGiri,  Reading

    #Books: Life, Productivity, Biography, and India

    Even though I would like to read more, last few months have been productive in terms of reading books compared to the past, here are some excerpts (that are profound and relatable) from interesting books that I finished recently. Life Once in a while I look at the books suggested by Bill Gates, in one of his list, there was “Life Is What You Make It” by Peter Buffett. I have read / seen a lot of videos about Warren Buffett (more on this in future blog); I went and checked their relationship to find Peter was Warren’s son. I read some reviews of the book and then decided to…

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