UCLA Big Data and Politics Seminar Series

The Prevalence and Sharing Patterns of “Fake News” in the US in 2016 and 2020

David Lazer
University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Computer Sciences

Co-Director of NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks

Northeastern University

Friday, May 14, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM PT

Zoom link: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/97899586814

Abstract: This presentation discusses the prevalence and sharing patterns of “fake news” in the United States in 2016 (regarding the election) and 2020 (regarding COVID-19). Substantively, the questions asked are: How common is fake news, as a specific genre of misinformation, been on Twitter? How concentrated are exposure and sharing patterns? And how does fake news fit into the broader information ecosystem on Twitter? Methodologically, the focus will in part be on the development of panels of accounts that are linked to administrative data as a method to measure aggregate behaviors on social media.

UCLA Big Data and Politics Seminar Series

Legislative Communication and Power:

Measuring Leadership in the U.S. House

of Representatives from Social Media

Daniel Ebanks

ABD, California Institue of Technology

R. Michael Alvarez

Professor, California Institute of Technology

with

Hao Yan (Facebook)

Sanmay Das (GMU)

Betsy Sinclair (WUSTL)

Friday, April 30, 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM PT

Zoom Link: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/95015937122

Abstract:  Who leads and who follows in Congress? By leveraging the Twitter accounts of members of the U.S. House of Representatives, this paper develops a new understanding of House leadership power using innovative natural language processing methods. Formal theoretic work on congressional leadership suggests a tension in legislative party members’ policy stances as they balance between a coordination problem and an information problem. When their coordination problem is more pressing, the model predicts that legislative members will follow their party leaders’ policy positions. But when the information problem is more acute, party members coordinate and effectively give their leaders direction for the party’s agenda. We test these hypotheses with novel and dynamic policy influence measurements. Specifically, we exploit the network structure of retweets to derive measures of House leadership centrality within each party. We then employ Joint Sentiment Topic modeling to quantify the discussion space for House members on Twitter. Our results partially support the theoretical insights. For policies where there is an information problem, House leaders do not generally initiate policy discussion on Twitter, although they do so more often than rankandfile members. Moreover, increases in House leaders’ propensity to discuss a sentimenttopic results in meaningful increases in rankandfile members’ propensities to discuss those same sentimenttopics. In line with the theoretical prediction, we also find that as the barriers to coordination in policy stances within a party increases, House party leaders hold more central and arguably more powerful roles within their party. Nonetheless, in contrast both to the theoretical predictions as well as to the existing scholarship on House congressional leadership, we find that rankandfile members exert influence over House party leaders, and moreover that rankandfile influence is larger in magnitude than that of House party leadership.

In November 2019, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Office Civic Memory Working Group convened its first meeting consisting of 40 historians, indigenous elders and scholars, architects, artists, curators, designers, and other civic and cultural leaders. Many of UCLA’s brightest minds were at the table. The charge for those present was to produce a series of recommendations to help Los Angeles engage more productively and honestly with its past, particularly where that past has been whitewashed or buried.

UCLA Members of the Mayor’s Office Civic Memory Working Group:

Advisors to the Working Group:

The Working Group’s report, including a print volume and an accompanying website, was released on April 15, 2021. The report has specific policy recommendations throughout, yet below are 18 key recommendations for moving forward:

The Hollywood Sign in Ruin

Continue and Expand the Conversation

1. Spend the second half of 2021, virtually or in person as the COVID-19 pandemic allows, discussing these recommendations and other materials in this report with a range of Los Angeles communities. These listening sessions should explore, among other subjects, how the City can shift its focus in stewarding civic memory from acting as a gatekeeper to a facilitator, giving fuller voice to community memory and bottom-up representation. Use these sessions to begin to turn the recommendations on this list into policy or built markers of civic memory.

2. Develop programs to train all city employees in civic history and Indigeneity, as they are hired and on an ongoing basis.

Carlos Diniz: A History of Drawing the Future

Increase Access and Share Information

3. Create a new City Historian position, or a three-person council of historians and community elders, on a rotating two-year basis, looking to the City’s Poet Laureate position as a model and potentially drawing from the ranks of college and university history departments and independent scholars.

4. Organize a task force of museum professionals, working artists, historians, Indigenous and other community leaders, and others to explore the creation of a Museum of the City of Los Angeles, with the understanding that this group may recommend instead supporting similar work inside museums and other cultural institutions already established.

5. Complete and publish an audit of the monuments and memorials in Los Angeles on public and publicly accessible land.

6. Broaden the accessibility and impact of the Los Angeles City Archives and Records Center as a basis for new civic memory initiatives.

7. Create a room or other space inside City Hall, open to the public, to celebrate civic memory and the Indigenous history of the site and its surroundings. This room should include both historical records and archives and rotating exhibits and displays related to civic architecture and the history of Los Angeles.

1871 Anti-Chinese Massacre

Recognize Indigenous History

8. Begin the process of adopting an Indigenous Land Acknowledgement Policy for the Mayor’s Office and for the City, in close collaboration with the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission (NAIC), as outlined in the summary appearing later in this volume from the Indigenous Land Acknowledgement subcommittee.

9. Create a new, full-time staff position within the Mayor’s Office to serve as official liaison to the NAIC and the broader Indigenous community.

10. Embed historians and Indigenous leaders on a compensated basis in City-led planning efforts, for example the Taylor Yard/G2 Equity Plan for a site along the Los Angeles River. Preserve or Acknowledge the Various Histories Embedded in the Built Environment

11. Take steps to protect the architecture and civic memory of the recent past, beginning with an effort to extend the Department of City Planning’s SurveyLA initiative from 1980 to the year 2000.

12. Strengthen financial and other penalties for the prohibited demolition of significant architecture, particularly residential architecture.

13. Pursue the expansion of Historic-Cultural Monument status to include thematic or non-contiguous designations, for example the Bungalow Court, and to protect the body of work of a single prominent firm or social or cultural movement.

14. Consider a City-led effort to mark and make visible the boundaries of racially exclusive zoning and lending practices in housing, e.g. redlining, or the communities displaced or disfigured by freeway construction.

6710 La Tijera Blvd.

Reconsider Memorials and Difficult Histories

15. Create a garden or series of gardens dedicated to the essential workers of Los Angeles.

16. Arrange specific community-engagement sessions during the remainder of 2021, guided by the recommendations in this report, to solicit ideas for commemorating the 30th anniversary, in 2022, of the 1992 civic unrest in Los Angeles. The goal should be a range of commemorative approaches, rather than a single event or memorial.

17. Work with the leadership of the Chinese American Museum and a range of community groups to develop citywide commemorations, considering both ephemeral and permanent forms, to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1871 Anti-Chinese Massacre on October 24, 2021.

18. Develop strategies to recontextualize outdated or fraught memorials as an alternative to removal—although removal will, in certain cases, remain the best option.

To read the full report, click HERE.

In light of the reawakened reckoning on racial justice issues and other historical and contemporary inequalities, the UCLA Division of Social Sciences is turning its attention and support to its graduate students. The newly established Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality was created to provide funds to graduate students in the Division researching and examining the important social justice issues of our time.

Launched in November 2020, an email campaign showcased cutting-edge research in the division with the goal of raising $50,000 by December 31, 2020.  For six weeks, messages highlighted various research projects, ranging from how COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color to the Division’s own Hollywood Diversity Report.

Midway through the campaign, Dean Darnell Hunt’s Advisory Board was so inspired by this effort that the board decided to provide $25,000 in matching funds. Additionally, Material, a modern marketing services company, led by Chairman and CEO UCLA alumnus Dave Sackman ’80, also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, pledged a $25,000 gift. Thanks to these gifts, as well as the generous support of numerous donors, alumni and friends, the campaign exceeded its goal, raising over $77,000.

“As the #1 public university in the United States, we continually strive to advance knowledge, address pressing societal needs, and foster the kind of environment enriched by diverse perspectives in which our students can flourish. I am truly heartened by how the UCLA community came together to support our graduate students during these challenging times.” —Dean Darnell Hunt

Graduate students in the Division’s departments and programs are invited to submit research proposals and the funds will be distributed as $5,000 grants starting summer 2021. Raising money for this fund will be an ongoing effort, underscoring the Division’s commitment to its graduate students as they take on important and critical research around issues of diversity and inequality.

To support graduate students through the Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality, please visit this site.

OR

To submit a research proposal for the Dean’s Fund for the Study of Diversity and Racial Inequality, please apply by submitting your information HERE, where you will be asked to provide:

1.  Name

2.  Department/Program (Must be a department/program in the UCLA Division of Social Sciences)

3.  Year in program

4.  Other summer support

5.  Project title

6.  Project abstract (one page max)

7.  Faculty support letter

Dr. Shana L. Redmond, UCLA professor in the departments of African American Studies and Global Jazz Studies Musicology, has been elected President of the American Studies Association (ASA) from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024. The association is made up of researchers, teachers, students, writers, activists, curators, community organizers, and activists from around the world who are dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of U.S. culture and history in a global context.

When asked about this appointment, Dr. Redmond said, “I am humbled to have been selected by my colleagues to lead the American Studies Association, an organization composed of dynamic, paradigm-shifting scholars and creators within and beyond the academy. The labors of past presidents established the organization as one with commitments to global justice, and I look forward to continuing in the urgent work of envisioning and practicing new worlds.”

LA Social Science congratulates Dr. Shana L. Redmond!

Academy Award®-nominated actor Edward James Olmos announced today that the Latino Film Institute (LFI) has named Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón, director of research and civic engagement of the Division of Social Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as the inaugural Latino Film Institute Scholar. The award comes with a $100,000 restrictive gift to be used over a two-year period for research designated by Dr. Ramón, including but not limited to, The Hollywood Diversity Report and a dedicated study on Latino representation in Hollywood and the Latino audience.

“It is a great honor for the Latino Film Institute to be able to provide our inaugural award to Dr. Ramón who has worked vigorously in raising awareness about the lack of diversity in Hollywood. It is of the utmost urgency that we, as a society, realize the importance of having diversity not only on our screens but also behind the camera. For the benefit of our future Latino generations, we must all do better at creating positive and accurate representation of Latinos in Hollywood, and it is by supporting the research and work done by Dr. Ramón that we can continue to make the necessary changes in our industry, culture and education to push and move forward to a better and more equitable future.”

“The Latino Film Institute does tremendous work in the community and in Hollywood to launch the careers of Latinx content creators and artists. So, I am honored to be the inaugural Latino Film Institute Scholar,” stated Dr. Ramón. “This generous award helps fund the research that UCLA Dean Darnell Hunt and I have been doing for several years on racial/ethnic and gender representation and their relationship to the bottom line in film and television. Most importantly, it will provide funding to conduct a study focused on Latinx representation and the Latinx audience informed by my expertise in Latinx and other race/ethnic and gender research. I look forward to continuing to advance the work that will uplift the Latinx community and to provide data that can be used by both content creators and Hollywood network and studio executives.”

The Latino Film Institute (LFI) is dedicated to showcasing, strengthening, and celebrating the richness of Latino lives by providing a pipeline, platform, and launching pad from our community into the entertainment industry. LFI’s three most prominent programs are the  LatinX in Animation (LXiA), the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) and the Youth Cinema Project (YCP). LXiA represents a diverse group within the Animation, VFX, and Gaming industries dedicated to uniting a talented pool of innovators with a heart to create exceptional stories across multiple platforms by organizing activities and events. LALIFF is a premier international event dedicated to showcasing the entirety of human experience from the Latino perspective, whether through film, television, digital, music, art, or any other vehicle, regardless of platform. As previously announced, LALIFF will host a virtual festival for the 2021 edition that will run from Wednesday, June 2 through Sunday, June 6.  This year’s program will be comprised of feature films, episodics, music, XR projects and short films, including those from LALIFF’s inaugural Latinx Inclusion Fellowship Series. YCP introduces elementary, middle, and high school students to the art of filmmaking and bridges the achievement and opportunity gaps by creating lifelong learners and the entertainment industry’s multicultural future, implemented in public schools across California.

Dr. Ana-Christina Ramón is the Director of Research and Civic Engagement for the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA. Dr. Ramón is a social psychologist who has worked on social justice issues related to equity and access in higher education and the entertainment industry for over fifteen years. She is the co-principal investigator of the Hollywood Advancement Project and manages its graduate research team. She is the co-author (with Dr. Darnell Hunt) of the annual Hollywood Diversity Report series that the project produces. She is also the managing editor of LA Social Science, an e-forum that showcases the vibrant and cutting-edge knowledge generated within the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA.

The UCLA Bedari Kindness Institute (BKI) is supporting the “Just Say Hello” campaign to help bridge the racial divide. This is a small gesture with a big message. The #JustSayHelloChallenge encourages people to Just Say Hello to somebody who doesn’t look like you, and share the videos and photos on social media with the hashtag #JustSayHelloChallenge.

The campaign hopes everyone will participate. Please share this content across your social media platforms and tag their account:

Instagram: @JustSayHelloUS

Twitter: @JustSayHelloUS

Facebook: @JustSayHelloUS

TikTok: @JustSayHelloUS

Website: www.JustSayHello.org

Watch a segment that aired on LA This Week about the campaign HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

“The Micro-Level Determinants of White-Black Segregation: Beyond Spatial Assimilation and Place Stratification”

Presented by Amber Crowell

March 31st @ 1:00 pm ET, 10:00 am PT

Dr. Amber Crowell is Assistant Professor of Sociology at California State University, Fresno. Her research focuses on residential segregation, housing, and social inequality.

Abstract: In this study we undertake a quantitative analysis of the locational attainments of Black households in metropolitan areas of the United States using restricted-use microdata and new methods for segregation analysis. Using a superior reformulation of the separation index, a well-known measure of residential segregation, we disaggregate the index into individual locational outcomes and analyze the household-level characteristics that affect Black locational attainments and directly predict overall White-Black segregation in 25 of the largest metropolitan areas. The advantage of disaggregating the separation index is that we can not only micromodel segregation, but we can also perform regression standardization and decomposition analysis to test prevailing theoretical arguments on the microlevel determinants of segregation. We find that while some factors, such as education and income, affect Black locational attainments in ways that align with the spatial assimilation hypothesis, race group membership is a major primary contributor to overall levels of White-Black segregation, which lends support to the place stratification framework. Additionally, we find that contrary to traditional assimilation theory, U.S.-born Black householders experience more segregation from White householders than foreign-born Black householders. We argue that this finding could potentially be understood through segmented assimilation theory, which posits that there are multiple assimilation trajectories in a racially stratified society. For Black households, spatial assimilation can mean increased residential separation from White households.

The details about this lecture are listed below:

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https://uscensus.webex.com/uscensus/onstage/g.phpMTID=ef6d2c40cd3604e4a2a008d021d95ea72
For Phone Audio
Dial-in number: 1-800-779-0641
Participant passcode: 5574602 #

For Computer Audio
For 1-way listen only computer audio, please click Audio Broadcast button in WebEx. If it does not connect, please use the telephone audio above.

Event number:  199 061 5244
Event password, if requested:  #Census1
*This password may be required when using certain mobile devices.

 

The UCLA Census Research Data Center is part of a growing network of Federal Statistical Research Data Center data centers across the United States that is hosting data from an increasing number of U.S. and state government agencies. To help build a network of users and inform potential users of ongoing research and new data developments, the new seminar series will bring together users and interested researchers from across the U.S.

The UCLA California Policy Lab (CPL) recently released a new analysis of California unemployment insurance (UI) claims as part of a policy briefs series publishing research conducted in partnership with the Labor Market Information Division of the California Employment Development Department.

Overview
Historically, the share of unemployed workers receiving regular UI benefits (recipiency rate) in California has been relatively low (as has also been the case in other states). This Data Point combines administrative data from California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) with monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) data to construct an improved recipiency rate to measure the extent to which unemployed and underemployed Californians are receiving regular UI benefits.

Dr. Till von Wachter, a co-author of the analysis, UCLA economics professor and faculty director at the California Policy Lab, says about this new analysis, “The share of unemployed workers receiving UI benefits tends to rise during economic downturns, but even during the Great Recession, we didn’t approach the high rates that we’re seeing now.”

Three key findings from this new research:
1) The recipiency rate in California has increased dramatically over the course of the crisis, from about 50% in April to nearly 90% in December.  
The analysis found that over 2.5 million unemployed Californians were not receiving regular UI benefits in April and May 2020, and while some of these workers likely received benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, at least 500,000 workers did not. As the share of workers receiving regular UI benefits increased, the number of workers not receiving regular UI benefits decreased, hovering at around 250,000 in the last four months of 2020.
2) There are geographic disparities in the rates of UI benefit collection that correlate with income, race and ethnicity, access to technology, and other social and economic factors. In counties with higher median household incomes, a larger share of their unemployed workers tended to receive UI benefits, while a smaller share of unemployed workers received benefits in counties with higher poverty rates.
3) CPL’s Recovery Index highlights substantial county-level differences in the economic recovery. Higher-income counties have recovered more quickly than lower-income counties, while counties with a higher share of Black and Hispanic residents have seen slower recoveries than counties with more White residents.

To see the map which tracks the Labor Market Recovery, click HERE.

To see table code of County Level Measures of Economic Recovery and UI Recipient Rates, click HERE.

To read CPL’s latest policy brief on this issue, click HERE.

This Women’s History Month Take-Over features Dr. Safiya Noble, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, African American Studies, and Gender Studies, and Dr. Sarah Roberts, Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education & Information Studies and Labor Studies at UCLA. They are the co-founders and co-directors of the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2i2). They discuss the importance, now more than ever, of social science research at the intersection of technology and society. Follow the center on Twitter @C2i2_UCLA and visit www.c2i2.ucla.edu for more information about the center’s cutting-edge research on the effects of social media and internet platforms on vulnerable communities and tech workers.

Happy Women’s History Month!

 

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