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Prof. Dr. M. Jarke
RWTH Aachen
Informatik 5
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Understanding Child Influencers within Social Network Communities

Thesis type
  • Bachelor
Status Running
Proposal on 30. Jun 2020 11:00
Proposal room Seminarraum I5
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Influencers emerged on social media over a decade ago and dominate platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. Their online presence and popularity (“following”) has made them attractive to advertisers, brands, and marketing campaigns. Among them, one breakthrough group commands the highest cash flow per post: kid influencers.

For the first time, kids are growing up with their lives documented on social media since birth, and their following seems to only be increasing. Unlike child actors, there are no laws to govern the phenomenon of children on social media. This has led to investigations about childrens rights online in various countries- and its also spurred growing interest in the measurable impact of influencers.

How can we measure their influence on people in social networks and how can we build publicly available tools to support critical investigations in this area? We will consider the impact of kid influencers on social media users in the context of network science or Web science. Influencers and influenced persons are modelled as nodes in a social network while their connections are modelled as links. Centrality measures and community detection algorithms can be applied to identify popular persons within those social networks while models of information diffusion can be used to understand the dynamic behavior of the social network.

For this thesis we plan to collect, store, analyze and visualize data from different social platforms. We will utilize publicly available Web APIs and advanced graph database technologies. For the analysis, we want to further develop a framework for the Web based anaylsis and visualization of social media data called WebOCD - building on an award winning thesis at our chair.

We’re looking for a student with interests in data science and interdisciplinary work. Open Source software development knowledge and Java or Web programming skills are welcome.

Note: the work done for this thesis will be used in partnership with a special documentary film production that has been investigating the world of kid influencers on social media. Direct (on camera) participation of the selected student will be at their discretion, but the US-based filmmakers are looking forward to an exciting and dynamic collaboration to shed light on this important issues to global audiences.

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