VU Aula

PhD Defence | Dark Side of the Digital World

VU Fakhra Jabeen Candidate will defend her PhD thesis entitled: “Dark Side of the Digital World” om September 6th 2022. Fakhra’s research was supervised by Jan Treur and Charlotte Gerritsen (both from VU)

Social media has given a new dimension of interaction that is beyond geographical limits, and this is growing at a tremendous rate. These media have been useful in establishing social connections and facilitating users to avail many opportunities. However, massive usage of social media may have its own pitfalls. For instance, a peer may experience aggressive behaviors or reactions from another peer or may consume most of his time in self-exhibition using social media. These behaviors can leave a long-lasting effect not only on one’s life but also on the victims of these behaviors. So, this thesis aims to address these two related behaviors (i.e., aggression and narcissism) while using social media.

In this thesis, Fakhra studied the deeper impact of these two behaviors by using mathematical modeling. The goal was achieved by designing and simulating models using multidisciplinary literature. These behaviors were detected and verified by using machine learning and data analytics. She also developed a system that can detect these behaviors in conversations using Natural Language Processing, with the aim to provide support to the victims, particularly for aggression. Based on this study, Fakhra proposes that evolving behaviors can be studied using such computational methods. Moreover, extended features like analyzing images’ features or analyzing their social network can also give more information about the personality of a peer.