Seminar: Likes-R-Us: Understanding and Protecting Likes in Social Media

February 6, 2018 at 3 pm in 1225 Patrick F. Taylor Hall


Speaker: Dongwon Lee, Penn State University


Abstract: The recent dramatic increase in the usage and prevalence of social media has led to the creation and sharing of a significant amount of information in various formats. When it comes to information consumption, people are not only accessing and appreciating published and shared contents, but also interacting with them by adding comments or pressing a Like button (or expressing other relationships similar to Like in nature such as “+1” in Google+, “re-pin” in Pinterest, and “favorite” in Flickr). As one of popular activities in social media, in particular, pressing a Like button toward published contents can be interpreted as an indication of one's shared interests to the contents or the original posters. Therefore, such Like activities form relationships and networks among people, raising interesting questions about their unique characteristics and implications. In this talk, I will present some of recent findings from the "Likes-R-Us" project ( at Penn State, identifying novel relationships from Like activities, understanding different age groups better through the lens of Likes, and uncovering fake Likes to maintain healthy eco systems.

Bio: Dongwon Lee is an associate professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology (a.k.a. iSchool) of The Pennsylvania State University, USA. From 2014 to 2016, he has also served as a program director at National Science Foundation (NSF), co-managing cybersecurity programs such as SFS and SaTC with the yearly budget of $50M. He researches broadly in Data Science, in particular, on the management of and mining in data in diverse forms including structured records, text, multimedia, social media, and Web. He obtained his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from Korea University, Columbia University, and UCLA, respectively, all in Computer Science.