Research projects delving into fields such as digital governance and human-computer interaction are an important aspect in shaping the future of Social Data Science and people's wellbeing. Below, you can see some of the current projects that our members are leading.
Algorithmic Governance - A Public Perspective

Algorithmic Governance - A Public Perspective (AGAPP) studies human-in-the-loop algorithmic governance. The project argues that in order to explain why we prefer humans-in-the-loop, we need an explicit account of how legitimacy judgments are created and changed in the minds of individuals when they encounter algorithmic systems that govern their lives. AGAPP develops a novel Legitimation Heuristic Model (LHM) to explore how legitimacy judgments are created and changed in the minds of individuals when they encounter algorithmic systems of rule. The project uses the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) as its case study.

This project is funded through a €1.5 million grant from the European Commission's Starting Grant.

Lead: Daria Gritsenko

Research Assistant: Vaibhav Agarwal

Heuristics of Doubt: Information Foraging in Digital Media Environments

Misinformation has been acknowledged as one of the key challenges to democracy in the early twenty-first century because it creates a polarised and hostile information environment in which deliberation is in decline. Yet, we still know surprisingly little about what makes people doubt the credibility of information they encounter. Drawing on the ecological rationality approach, we argue that people’s encounters with information online can be understood as “information foraging” and their practices are driven by simple heuristics, colloquially “rules of thumb.” Specifically, H-DOUBT studies information foraging among Finnish media professionals and ordinary citizens to understand their heuristics of doubt.

Lead: Daria Gritsenko

Co-Lead: Roope Oskari Kaaronen

Social Computing Research Projects

The Social Computing Research Group, led by Matti Nelimarkka, has two ongoing research projects, focusing on digital democracy and politics:

Interrogating the Politics of Information Systems

This project challenges critical technology research in the social sciences to find out precisely how the power of information systems works. It use constructive research methods familiar from art, design and computer-human interaction to investigate how ideologies and values ​​influence the design of information systems. Additionally, the projects looks into how information systems become part of the field of political activity.

Lobbying on Social Media

To understand lobbyists influence on political decision-making, we need to know who lobbyists are and how they are affecting political processes. Traditionally, lobbying has mostly taken place hidden from the public, but now social media – especially Twitter/X – has become a new tool and channel for political lobbying. Therefore, this project aims to understand how social media is impacting lobbyists efforts.

Additional Partner: Juho Vesa and his team.