Social Media as Conflict Event Data

November 10, 2020

GLODEM AI & CSS Seminar Series

Title: Social Media as Conflict Event Data

Date: November 19, 2020 – Thursday

Time:18:00-19:30 (GMT+3)

Place: This seminer will be conducted on Zoom

Presenter: Dr. Akın Ünver, Associate Professor of International Relations, Kadir Has University

Moderator: Dr. Merih Angın, Director of MA-CSSL, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Koç University


Abstract: Conflict event datasets like UCDP/PRIO, ACLED, UMD-START and LiveUAMap have become popular in the last decade to serve as important sources of situational awareness in violent zones and migration events. These datasets comb through news, local sources and the Internet to log violent as well as non-violent critical event information to provide researchers and field operatives perspective and context as they muddle through the uncertainties of critical events. Major event datasets have also contributed heavily to the emergence of modern conflict, peacekeeping and migration studies and thus, newer research projects focus on how to create new, specialized event datasets, as well as how to integrate or improve existing ones. This talk connects the most recent advances in the field of conflict studies and seeks to bridge them with some of the emerging techniques in data science and social media data harvesting. The current progression of both conflict and social media research fields will likely result in a heavier reliance on jointly-produced event datasets in the next decade and it is crucial for researchers from both domains can come together to produce newer and better conflict and migration event datasets, potentially opening up a dedicated novel field of research.

Short Speaker Bio: Akın Ünver is an associate professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University, specializing in conflict research, computational methods and digital crisis communication. He is the Resident Fellow of Cyber Research Program at the Centre for Economic and Foreign Policy Research (EDAM), a Research Associate at the Center for Technology and Global Affairs, Oxford University and a Senior Research Fellow at GUARD (Global Urban Analytics for Resilient Defence) at the Alan Turing Institute. He is the author of ‘Defining Türkiye’s Kurdish Question: Discourse and Politics Since 1990’ (Routledge Series in Middle Eastern Politics). He is the Istanbul organizer of the Summer Institute in Computational Social Science (SICSS).

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