Social network Architectures of Disinformation (#sad)


Social networks have become by far the most important place online to discuss and exchange information, but they also tend to polarize discussions and isolate users in their own cultural or ideological bubbles. This project aims to develop new methods to analyze the structure and mechanisms of influence within these communities, and to estimate the overall activity of social networks from only a partial view of them. Based on these methods, a tool has been developed to enable journalists to monitor the propagation of controversies and misinformation on Twitter, and complementary analyses have also been conducted on YouTube, Reddit and Voat.

The exploration tool, called SADView, automatically collects tweets—including retweets and mentions—to create an interactive visualization of user interactions while also highlighting communities and characterizing topics through a lexicometric analysis. It allows journalists and researchers to get a quick overview of the discussions around a given topic on Twitter, which has led to new insights at the crossroads between data analysis and journalism.

A continuation of this project was launched in February 2021 with renewed support from IMI.

Presentation of the project results at the IMI Annual Event (24.09.2020)

Watch on YouTube

Keywords :
social networks, graph signal processing, network analysis, dynamic activity over networks, fake news

12 months

People involved

Principal investigator

Prof. Pierre Vandergheynst (EPFL)



Benjamin Ricaud (EPFL)

Nicolas Aspert (EPFL)

Andreas Loukas (EPFL)

Volodymyr Miz (EPFL)

Prof. Nathalie Pignard-Cheynel (UniNE)

Vincent Carlino (UniNE)

Lucie Loubère (Toulouse III University)



Amin Mekacher (EPFL)

Fanny Scuderi (UniNE)


Media experts

Magali Philip (RTS)

Tybalt Félix (RTS)

Academic institutions

Signal Processing Laboratory 2 – LTS2 (EPFL)

Academy of Journalism and Media – AJM (UniNE)

Media partner

RTS – Radio Télévision Suisse (SRG) – RTSinfo


This project started in September 2019 and has been completed

Related call for projects

Helping media fight misinformation and restore the public’s trust” (2018)