Ackland, R. and K. Gwynn (2020). Truth and the dynamics of news diffusion on Twitter. Chapter in R. Greifeneder, M. Jaffé, E. Newman, N. Schwarz (eds) The Psychology of Fake News: Sharing, Accepting and Correcting Misinformation. London: Routledge. Available Open Access!


Ackland, R., Jensen, M. and M. O’Neil (2020). Submission to the Senate Select Committee on Foreign Interference through Social Media. Submission #8 (download pdf)
Submission page:

Ackland, R., Jensen, M. and M. O’Neil (2020). Internet Research Agency Campaigns in the Australian Twittersphere (Excerpts from Submission to the Senate Select Committee on foreign interference through social media). In M. O'Neil and M. Jensen (eds) Australian Perspectives on Misinformation. Canberra: News & Media Research Centre, University of Canberra.

Gertzel, B. and R. Ackland (2020). #DebateNight 2020: Hashtag Twitter Collection of the US Presidential Debates [Unpublished data]. First Presidential Debate retrieved 30-09-2020, Vice Presidential debate retrieved 08-10-2020, and Third Presidential Debate retrieved 23-10-2020.


At the 5th Australian Social Network Analysis Conference (ASNAC), 25-27 November 2020:

  • Rob Ackland ran the pre-conference workshop "VOSON Lab Tools for Collecting and Analysing Online Networks".
  • Rob Ackland gave the presentation "Using Semantic Network Analysis to Identify Meaning Structures on Twitter".
  • Rob Ackland and Francisca Borquez presented the poster "VOSON Lab R tools, tracking conversation networks online with vosonSML and VOSONDash".

Rob Ackland presented the VOSON Lab R tools: vosonSML and VOSONDash, at the College of Arts & Social Sciences "Fieldwork Futures Seminar", 20 October 2020.

Rob Ackland and Karl Gwynn presented "Working at the intersection of critical approaches and computational methods" at the Research School of Social Sciences Interpretivist Methods in the Digital Age: Methodology and Epistemology in the Social Sciences workshop, 2 October 2020.

Rob Ackland presented the study "The deliberative potential of online discussion: An analysis of dynamic threaded conversation networks on Reddit" in the ANU-CNRS Attention Dynamics Research webinars. 19 June 2020.

Rob Ackland participated in the online seminar "The Pandemic Society", hosted by the ANU School of Sociology, 25 May 2020.

Rob Ackland presented in the inter-disciplinary webinar ‘The impact of information (and misinformation) on mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 Pandemic’, organised by the Research School of Psychology at the Australian National University, and the Black Dog Institute. 14 May 2020.

Rob Ackland gave the presentation: "Mapping Online Issue Spaces: The Case of the Australian Political Twittersphere" in the Digital Concepts and Methods Workshop - organised by News & Media Research Centre University of Canberra, 27 March 2020.

RSSS visitor PD Dr Florian Muhle ran the seminar: "Types and Forms of Automation on Twitter" (February 17, 2020).

At the ANU research workshop: "Social and Behavioural Dynamics of Attention", held on February 14, 2020:

  • Rob Ackland presented the study "The deliberative potential of online discussion: An analysis of dynamic threaded conversation networks on Reddit" 
  • Mahin Raissi presented the study: "Do ‘bots’ and ‘humans’ like each other? A structural analysis of Twitter conversations during the 2016 1st U.S. Presidential Debate"
  • Florian Muhle presented: "Twitter in the news: Some problems of using Twitter data to represent public opinion"

Rob Ackland and Adrian Mackenzie organised and hosted the Second RSSS Data Sprint 2020, held on February 18-21, 2020. Sessions included:

  • Masterclass: Intro to R and collecting social media network/text data with VOSON Dashboard and vosonSML (Rob Ackland, Feb 18, 2020)
  • Masterclass: Introduction to Quantitative Text Analysis using R (Ken Benoit, Feb 18, 2020)
  • Masterclass: Introduction to NetLogo (Ignacio Ojea, Feb 19, 2020)
  • Masterclass: Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) using statnet (Rob Ackland, Feb 19, 2020)
  • Masterclass: Introduction to Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing using Python (Ian Wood, Feb 19, 2020)
  • The Data Sprint (Feb 20-21, 2020), dedicated to exploring incivil behaviour on social media using Reddit datasets (Rob Ackland and Adrian Mackenzie).


Volkswagen Foundation Large Grant in the AI and Society of the Future Stream for "Unbiased Bots That Build Bridges (U3B): Technical Systems that Support Deliberation and Diversity as a Chance for Political Discourse" (P. Cimiano, R. Ackland, E. Esposito, T. Graham, M. Hartung, F. Muhle, M. O'Neil, O. Putz, B. Schiffhauer, U. Seelmeyer; Euro 1,483,000 (ANU component: Euro 213,600); 2021-2024.

ANU RSSS inter-school grant for "Developing an interdisciplinary approach to understanding Indigenous Australian governance networks" (D. Smith (CAEPR), R. Ackland, M. Rahissi, F. Borquez); $15,000, 2020.


Rob Ackland and Adrian Mackenzie organised and hosted the Second RSSS Data sprint 2020, held on February 18-21, 2020. 

Rob Ackland organised and hosted the research workshop: "Social and Behavioural Dynamics of attention", held on February 14, 2020.


PH Dr Florian Muhle, Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University, Germany. ANU Global Research Partnership Scheme to establish the "ANU Social Dynamics of Attention Centre".