What Role Do Social Media Influencers Play in Spreading Misinformation and Disinformation? PhD

Entry requirements
2:1+
Full-time
3 years
Start date
30 September 2019
Application deadline
11 January 2019
Reference number
OCC19-P2W
UK / EU fee
Not applicable
International fee
Not applicable
Location
Loughborough

Overview

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

O3C: Improving the Health of Our Online Civic Culture

Established in 2018 with a £300,000 award from Loughborough University's Adventure Research Programme, the Online Civic Culture Centre for Doctoral Training (O3C) applies cutting-edge concepts and methods from social science and information science to understand the role of social media in shaping our civic culture. Led by Professor Andrew Chadwick it consists of a team of ten academic supervisors drawn from the disciplines of communication, information science, social psychology, and sociology. The CDT enables interdisciplinary teams of researchers and PhD students to work together on issues of misinformation, disinformation, and the rise of hate speech and incivility online. It develops evidence-based knowledge to mitigate the democratically-dysfunctional aspects of social media. It identifies and promotes the positive civic engagement benefits of social media. Find out more.

Project detail

What drives people to behave in democratically-dysfunctional ways in the online environment, and how can we change this behaviour? This project will develop culturally-sensitive concepts for designing new algorithms to detect social media influencers who spread misinformation and disinformation on social media. Through a perspective attentive to the ethical and cultural implications of human-machine interactions on social media platforms, it will both improve understanding of the values embedded in platform algorithms and the role social media influencers play in spreading false information in online networks. The work will sit at the interdisciplinary intersection of computational text mining, applied data science, sociolinguistics, media theory, theories of artificial intelligence, and normative ethical theory.

Find out more

Funding

Open to UK/EU and International graduates with backgrounds in relevant disciplines.

For UK/EU students the studentship provides:

  • a tax free stipend of £14,777 per year (pending 2019 increase) for three years
  • includes tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,260, pending 2019 increase)

International students may apply: in this case the studentship will cover only the International tuition fee (£16,400 pending 2019 increase) and no stipend. You will register for 1 October 2019.

Supervisors

Primary supervisor: Professor Louise Cooke

Secondary supervisors: Dr Suzanne Elayan, Dr Simone Natale

Contact 

Name: Deirdre Lombard, Postgraduate Administrator

Email address: Socsciresearch@lboro.ac.uk  

Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 223879

Why you should choose us

Entry requirements

Our entry requirements are listed using standard UK undergraduate degree classifications i.e. first-class honours, upper second-class honours and lower second-class honours. To learn the equivalent for your country, please choose it from the dropdown below.

Entry requirements for United Kingdom

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent international qualification) in the major subject of their research field or a related subject. A relevant master's degree will be an advantage.

Afghanistan

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Afghanistan 95% 85% 70%

Albania

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Albania 9.5 8.5 8

Armenia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Armenia - percentage 90% 80% 70%
Armenia - GPA 3.9 3.5 3.0

Austria

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Austria A (or 1.5) mit Auszeichnungbestanden 60% or B or 3.0 (or 2) 50% or C or 2.7 (or 3)

Barbados

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Barbados - classification 1st 2:1 2:2
Barbados - letter grading A B (or 75%) C (or 55%)
Barbados - GPA 3.6 3.0 2.0

Benin

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Benin 18 15 or Bien 12 or Assez Bien

Bolivia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Bolivia 85/78 75/66 67/55

Bosnia and Herzegovina

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 9 8

Botswana

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Botswana - master's degree A or 80% B or 70% C or 60%

Costa Rica

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Costa Rica 9 8 or 80 or Notable 7.0 or 70 or Sufficiente

Dominican Republic

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Dominican Republic 3.8 Magna Cum Laude 3.5 or 85% Cum Laude 3.2 or 82%

El Salvador

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
El Salvador 8.5 or 85% 7.5 or 75% or Muy Bueno 6.5 or 65% or Bueno

Estonia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Estonia 5 or A 4 or B 3 or C

Ethiopia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Ethiopia - master's A/GPA 4.0 A/GPA 3.5 B/GPA 2.8

Georgia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Georgia 5 (95%) 4.5 (85%) 4 (75%)

Grenada

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Degree from University of West Indies - classification 1st 2:1 2:2
Degree from University of West Indies - letter grading A B or 75% C or 55%
Degree from University of West Indies - GPA 3.6 3.0 2.0

Guatemala

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Guatemala - Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala - 80% 60%
Guatemala - private university - 85% 70%

Guyana

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Guyana - master's - Pass with distinction or GPA 4.0 -

Hungary

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Hungary 5 4 3

Iceland

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Iceland 8.5 7.5 6.5

Ivory Coast

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Ivory Coast 16 14 (Bien) 12 (Assez Bien)

Jamaica

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Jamaica - the University of West Indies or degrees accredited by UCJ and CCCJ 1st (GPA 3.6) 2:1 (GPA 3.0) or B 2:2 (GPA 2.0) or C

Latvia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Latvia 9 7 6

Liberia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Liberia - master's 4.0 or 90% 3.5 or 85% 3 or 80%

Mauritius

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Mauritius 1st or 70% 2:1 or 60% 2:2 or 50%

Nepal

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Nepal - master's (after 3 year bachelor degree) 90% or 3.9 GPA 80% or 3.8 GPA 70% or 3.3 GPA

Nicaragua

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Nicaragua - 80% 70%

Panama

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Panama 91 (A) 81 (B) 71 (C)

Papua New Guinea

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Papua New Guinea 1st 2:1 2:2

Paraguay

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Paraguay - 4 3.5

Senegal

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Senegal - 14/20 or bien 12/20 or Assez Bien

Serbia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Serbia 9 8.25 7.5

Sierra Leone

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Sierra Leone - classification - 2:1 2:2
Sierra Leone - percentage grading - 60-69% 50-59%
Sierra Leone - letter grading - B+ B

Slovakia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Slovakia 1.5 or B 2.0 or C 2.5 or C/high D

Sweden

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Sweden - Overall grade of VG with a minimum of 90 credits at VG Overall grade of G with a minimum of 90 credits at G

Tajikistan

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Tajikistan - 4.5 4

Trinidad and Tobago

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Trinidad and Tobago - University of the West Indies or degrees accredited by ACTT 1st 2:1 2:2

Uruguay

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Uruguay 10/12 8/12 or MB or 90% 6.5/12 or B or 80%

Zambia

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Zambia - master's - B+ or 3.5 or 70% -

Zimbabwe

First-class honours (70%) Upper second-class honours (60%) Lower second-class honours (50%)
Zimbabwe - 65% 60%

English language requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum English Language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select Social Sciences. Clearly mark your application "Online Civic Culture CDT". Please quote reference number: OCC19-P2W. The deadline for applications is 11 January 2019.

Apply now