Lunch at 12:30pm, (virtual) talk at 1pm, in 148 Fitzpatrick

Title: A Multitude of Communities: Genealogy and Intergroup Contact

Abstract: The surge of online communities has led to a rich ecosystem of online communities. Users tend to engage with multiple communities and even create new communities. In this talk, I highlight two perspectives enabled by such multi-community engagement. First, I point out the fact that the context in which a new community emerges contains numerous existing communities, and reveal the emerging process of communities by tracing their early members’ previous community memberships. Second, I leverage NBA communities to revisit the classic hypothesis on intergroup contact reducing prejudice between groups. Our results show that members with intergroup contact use more negative and abusive language in their affiliated group than those without such contact, after controlling for activity levels. Our findings provide complementary evidence to experimental studies in a novel context, and also shed light on possible reasons for the different outcomes in prior studies. I will conclude with discussions on future opportunities in this space.

Bio: Chenhao Tan is an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Chicago, and is also affiliated with the Harris School of Public Policy. He obtained his PhD degree in the Department of Computer Science at Cornell University and bachelor’s degrees in computer science and in economics from Tsinghua University. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, he was an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and a postdoc at the University of Washington. His research interests include natural language processing, human-centered AI, and computational social science. His work has been covered by many news media outlets, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. He also won an NSF CAREER award, an NSF CRII award, a Salesforce research award, an Amazon research award, a Facebook fellowship, and a Yahoo! Key Scientific Challenges award.