I am an Assistant Professor in the School of Information Sciences in the College of Communication and Information at The University of Tennessee Knoxville. I am also a Joint Faculty Assistant Professor in The Bredesen Center's Data Science and Engineering program, a Founding Fellow of the CCI Information Integrity Institute, an Affiliate of the Center for National Security and Foreign Affairs at the Baker School for Public Policy and Public Affairs, and co-director of The MeLa Lab, a multi-university lab that works on problems related to online news and media.

I am a highly interdisciplinary, computational social scientist who takes a pragmatic approach to research. I tend to focus on research that points towards practical outcomes and knowledge. Most of my work seeks to answer questions related to resistance to strategic disinformation and malign influence, sometimes relating to broader concerns of U.S. national security.

My work fits into three related categories:

1. Content moderation and information interventions, ranging from automated detection techniques (or alternatives to automated techniques) to content warning label designs.
Examples: CACM22, ICWSM19a, TIST19

2. Media practices and influence, where media is defined broadly and can include news media, social media actors, and social media platforms. Importantly, I use the term "media practices" not to just refer to media consumption but also media production. For example, asking "what tactics does fringe news outlet X use to spread information?" is just as important as asking "how does fringe news outlet X change consumers' opinions?".
Examples: ICWSM22, ICWSM19b, Websci22

3. Complex social and cultural systems, particularly focused on how social and cultural factors moderate or exacerbate the influence of media.
Examples: HSSCOMMS23, SNSS22, AB23

My background is in Computer Science. Hence, methodologically, I am most experienced in using computational methods from natural language processing, network science, and machine learning on digital trace data. However, I often employ qualitative methods on digital trace data and survey data, as well as design human experiments, to aid my research.

Also, I publish under Benjamin D. Horne, but everyone calls me Ben.

Email: bhorne6 at utk dot edu

Google Scholar: Scholar Profile

Github: benjamindhorne

Office: 440B Communications Building, 1345 Circle Park, Knoxville TN 37996

Erdős Number: 3 (Erdős -> Goldberg -> Adalı -> Horne)