Joshua Watt

Joshua Watt

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Mathematical Sciences

Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences

MPhil candidate in Applied Mathematics and Statistics. My research aims to find and model echo chambers online with a focus on politics and conspiracy theories.

Social Media is a commonly used platform to convey peoples thoughts and communicate with others. Users on these platforms have been shown to communicate more often with like-minded others, a phenomena called homophily. This raises concerns about the reinforcement and amplification of extreme ideologies and conspiracy theories in some groups.

Over the past few years there has been a number of extreme ideologies and conspiracy theories which have captured the attention of large groups of people. Just to name a few: 5G causes Coronavirus, the QAnon movement and George Bush facilitated the 9/11 attacks. The legacy of these conspiracy theories still lingers and it is important to consider how people come to having these beliefs. My research aims to identify these confounding factors and potentially prevent these ideas circulating on social media.

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