Haohan Chen is a postdoctoral fellow, Center for Social Media and Politics, New York University; and an assistant professor, Politics and Public Administration, University of Hong Kong.
Social media data help political scientists and policymakers understand the behavioral patterns of political communication. Consider these questions: How do citizens in authoritarian countries face censorship and perform self-censorship? How and why does the American public have a growing dislike or distrust of people from the other party? How does the public update their beliefs about COVID-19 in response to elite pronouncement and media reports? In his talk, Chen will introduce how social media data, empowered by data science toolkits, can help gauge political communication. The talk will consist of two parts. The first part introduces Chen’s research projects on self-censorship and political polarization with social media data. The second part introduces tools to collect and analyze social media data for opinion studies, with a critical evaluation of their limitations and best practices.