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UA Little Rock Researcher Awarded $95K to Study Social Media Safety

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University of Arkansas at Little Rock researcher Nitin Agarwal has received a $95,227 federal grant to study ways to make social media safer to use.

The grant from the National Science Foundation will help develop novel big data mining algorithms, Agarwal said in a news release. The project’s main objective is to identify and track malicious groups in real-world networks that hide in plain sight.

Due to anonymity and the perception of less personal risk in acting online, deviant groups are increasingly provoking hysteria, spreading disinformation and coordinating cyberattacks. Such activity can pose risks to social, political and economic stability. 

“This research proposes a way to identify key groups, investigate their interest, and predict their influence in the network,” Agarwal said.

Funds will support a post-doctoral fellowship position, travel and data acquisition.

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