Distributed Information Systems Laboratory LSIR

Can Celebrities Burst Your Bubble?

Project Details

Can Celebrities Burst Your Bubble?

Laboratory : LSIR Semester / Master Completed


It is claimed that social media is polarized: people only follow their favourite parties and politicians and the newspaper that is biased to these parties/politicians. What follows is that people only consumes the information which confirms their preexisting beliefs, and knows nothing about the arguments from the other side.

Is it so? The truth is, people do not only follow parties and politicians, but also celebrities (singers, actors, football players etc.) who also present their opinion on political and contemporary issues. At least it happens in U.S. and Turkey (for which we can guide you) and we are curious to know if it is the case in your country, given that it is home to controversial topics.  

In this project, we will try to answer these research questions:

  1. In which countries celebrities present their opinion on politics and other contemporary issues? At what rate? For which topics? And who are they?
  2. Are they followed by people of opposite view?
  3. Do people of opposite view react to these celebrities? Do they reply them, talk about them, retweet them or unfollow them? (Fortunately, have some old follower data)
  4. The most important question, do / can celebrities burst your bubble and connect people with opposite views?

Potential resources: Polarization in Social Media, Unfollowing Celebrities

Deliverables: datasets, codebase, results of analysis, a nice presentations with visualizations that you can do interpretations on.


Data analysis skills and interest in the topic. We prefer Python and pandas but if you are an R guru, why not? 

Some domain knowledge or at least interest in contemporary issues (in U.S. as well as Europewise) is a plus. 

This project is more network-oriented. But we’ll use NLP for topic detection, namely, to understand what people are talking about. 

Contact: Tugrulcan Elmas