CCICADA Seminar Series in Homeland Security

Misinformation on Encrypted Social Media: Challenges and Mitigation Strategies

Date/Time: Friday, March 22, 2024, 11:45 am to 1:30 pm
Location:  4th Floor Lounge – 401, Computing Research & Education Building (CoRE), Busch Campus, Rutgers, the State University

***Light lunch served at 12 noon, talk at 12:15 pm. Please RSVP to Nicole Clark-Johnson <> if you will be attending lunch.***

FEATURED SPEAKER: Kiran Garimella, Assistant Professor in the School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University.

Abstract: I will talk about with our recent work on tracking misinformation on end to end encrypted platforms like WhatsApp. I’ll start by explaining need for collecting data from encrypted platforms and the challenges it entails. Next, I’ll discuss how WhatsApp is used by political parties in India to spread misinformation and hate speech. Finally, I will delve into developing solutions for content moderation on WhatsApp, which is non trivial due to the end to end encryption. I will present two solutions: One based on an on-device setup to content moderation, before the content is encrypted, and the second based on a crowdsourced, bottom up model for fact checking. I will end with a discussion on potential future research directions in this space.

Bio: Kiran Garimella is an Assistant Professor in the School of Communication and Information at Rutgers University. His research deals with using large-scale data to tackle societal issues such as misinformation, political polarization, and hate speech. Prior to joining Rutgers, Dr. Garimella was the Michael Hammer postdoc at the Institute for Data, Systems and Society at MIT and a postdoc at EPFL, Switzerland. His work on studying and mitigating polarization on social media won the best paper awards at top computer science conferences. Kiran received his Ph.D. in computer science at Aalto University, Finland, and Masters & Bachelors from IIIT Hyderabad, India. Prior to his Ph.D., he worked as a Research Engineer at Yahoo Research, Barcelona, and QCRI, Doha.

***Please RSVP to Nicole Clark-Johnson <> if you will be attending lunch.**

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