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Anatoliy Gruzd - Ted Rogers School of Management. Toronto, ON, CA

Anatoliy Gruzd Anatoliy Gruzd

Associate Professor, Information Technology Management | Ted Rogers School of Management

Toronto, ON, CANADA

Expert in Social Media, Online Communities, Data Stewardship, Online Social Networks, Information Privacy





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Ryerson University



Anatoliy is a Canada Research Chair in Social Media Data Stewardship, an Associate Professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, and the Director of Research at the Social Media Lab. Anatoliy is also a Member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, a co-editor of a multidisciplinary journal on Big Data and Society, and a co-founder and Chair of the International Conference on Social Media and Society.

Anatoliy's research initiatives explore how social media is changing the ways in which people and organizations communicate, collaborate, disseminate information, conduct business and form communities online, and how these changes impact society.

His expertise lies in studying online communities and social networks, and developing new methods for analyzing and visualizing social media data. The aim of his various research initiatives is to provide decision makers with additional knowledge and insights into the behaviors and relationships of online network members, and to understand how these interpersonal connections influence our personal choices and actions.

Areas of Expertise (24)

Social Media Social Media Trends Social & Digital Media Social Media Analytics Information Privacy Social Media Data Privacy Information Visualization Social Media and Politics Social Media and Democracy Social Media and Learning Social Media & Marketing Social Media & Branding Social Media and Virality Social Media and Branded Engagement Social Media & Content Marketing for Business and Non-Profits Social Media & Health Social Media Trolling Social Media and Anti-social Behaviour Social Networks Online Communities Social Media Big Data Social Network Analysis (Sna) Social Media Data Stewardship Use of Social Media in Russia/Ukraine Conflict


Accomplishments (4)

Royal Society of Canada (RSC) names Anatoliy Gruzd a Member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists (professional)


Anatoliy Gruzd was named a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists & Scientists by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). Gruzd was selected for his contributions to social media research. He established the 1st social media research lab in N. America. The lab is internationally recognized & attracts a diverse range of outstanding scholars and students each year. Gruzd’s research contribution is wide & varied, ranging from politics, to online learning, to social media privacy & usage trends.

Best Paper Award (professional)


The Internet, Policy & Politics Conference, University of Oxford, UK. For "Politically Polarized Online Groups and their Social Structures formed around the 2013-2014 crisis in Ukraine."

Best Poster Award (professional)


i-Conference, Toronto, Canada. Ng, C., Gruzd, A., Cheng, C., Crocker, B., Doiron, D., & Stevens, K. "From Data to Knowledge: Discovery of Medical Laboratory Demand Patterns through Visualisation Techniques."

Best Paper Award (professional)


Association for Library and Information Science Education. For "Studying Collaborative Learning Using Name Networks."

Education (3)

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: PhD, iSchool 2009

Syracuse University: MS, iSchool 2005

Dnipropetrovsk National University (Ukraine): BS & MS, Computer Science 2003

Languages (3)

  • English
  • Ukrainian
  • Russian

Selected Media Appearances (8)

How Twitter Makes the Internet More Local

Foreign Affairs  online


Social Media Isn't As Global As One Might Think. A study we recently conducted, Geography of Twitter networks (https://bit.ly/2OOaAIc), examined how geography shapes the way people form connections on Twitter, one of the most popular social media sites on the Internet. What we we found: Much of the communication on Twitter is local. When given a choice to "follow" others around the globe, Twitter users disproportionately choose those in the same country and even within the same immediate region.

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Experts call for transparency over political parties and data mining

The Toronto Star  online


In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, this article explored why there is an urgent need for more transparency and oversight over political parties and their use of social media and other types of data.

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Twitter wants to reduce the “health” of its conversations to four numbers. Good luck, say experts.

MIT Technology review  online


"After years of failing to stomp out trolls, hostility, hoaxes, and other ills, the company is asking for proposals to measure the “health” of conversations people have on its platform."

"Anatoliy Gruzd, director of the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University in Ontario, has been studying the news-sharing site Reddit. He suggests Twitter take a look at its communities, known as subreddits, where human moderators manage the conversations and the community develops guidelines for what’s appropriate within the group. Once you establish these norms, he says, any metrics you come up with are more useful because you know their context."

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Social media got us into a mess. Can it get us out of it?

The Globe and Mail  online


Authored by Dr. Gruzd and Philip Mai

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Rampant social media misuse puts future of popular platforms at risk

CBC  online


'Anatoliy Gruzd, an associate professor at Ryerson University and director of research for the university's Social Media Lab concurs, saying that "the roots of the current issues with social media can be traced back to the mid-90s, to when the first pop-up ads appeared on the internet. By choosing advertising as the vehicle to fund the growth of the web, we set the stage for the current issues."'

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Facebook set to unveil plan to guard against fake news during Canadian election campaign

The Star  online


'Thursday’s announcement will include a panel discussion on digital civic engagement featuring Gould, Facebook Canada’s head of public policy Kevin Chan, Canada Research Chair in Social Media Data Stewardship and associate professor at Ryerson Anatoliy Gruzd, and Matthew Johnson, director of education at MediaSmarts, a non-profit geared toward media literacy.'

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‘Unfriending’ Trump supporters is just another example of how we isolate ourselves online

The Washington Post  print


This Washington Post article featured a study we completed that examined political polarization on social media. In particular, the article attempts to answer the question: do birds of a feather flock together on Twitter and other social network?

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Parenting in the social media era: To share or not to share?

CTV News  online


Parenting in the social media era: To share or not to share?'That’s the question social media researcher Anatoliy Gruzd says trips up a lot of parents, as they struggle to balance children’s privacy with their personal desire to share with family and friends.'

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Selected Event Appearances (4)

Keynote: “Studying Online and Offline Communities through the Prism of Social Media Data”,

International Symposium on Spatiotemporal Computing (ISSC)  Harvard University, Cambridge, USA


Keynote: “Listening and Giving Voice to Ideas with Social Media Data”

Altmetrics Conference 2017  Ryerson University


Keynote, “Public Diplomacy for the Social Media Age,”

Workshop on #Diplometrics: Public Diplomacy & Advocacy for Effective Results  Global Affairs Canada, Ottawa


Keynote, “Who Are We Modelling: Bots or Humans?”

Workshop on Modeling Social Media as part of the 25th International Conference on World Wide Web  Montreal, Canada


Research Grants (8)

Social Media Data Stewardship (2015-2020)

Canada Research Chair Program (CRC) - Tier 2 $500,000


Dr. Anatoliy Gruzd has received the prestigious honour of being named Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Social Media Data Stewardship. The CRC Program, established by the Government of Canada in 2000, invests $265 million each year to “attract and retain some of the world’s most accomplished and promising minds” as part of a national research strategy.

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Learning Analytics For the Social Media Age (2013-2019)

SSHRC Insight Grant $478,622


The project involves developing novel learning analytics for the social media age. Learning analytics is “the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs.” One of the primary goals of this initiative is to devise new theoretical and technical solutions that will help educators and researchers to study learning processes in social media. Another goal of the initiative is to provide educators and learners with tools that will help them to determine whether their particular use of social media is beneficial to their teaching or learning.

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“Learning Analytics Dashboard for the Social Media Age’s e-Learners and Educators” (2017-2018)

eCampus Ontario $99,959


As part of this research initiative, we have developed an open-source Learning Analytics (LA) Dashboard to help educators who use Twitter in their teaching. The dashboard collects public tweets containing a hashtag designated to a class and then visualizes them in the form of various charts. The main goal is to help instructors look for evidence of learning-related interactions, such as posting questions to their peers, sharing resources, and engaging with other students.

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Mining Biodiversity (Big Data) (2014-2015)

SSHRC Digging Into Data Challenge $250,000


One of the aims of the project is to turn heritage or legacy science documents into “social” digital objects that can be easily shared among researchers and the public via social media. The expectation is that this will help to make these earlier biodiversity documents and artifacts more accessible and will help to raise the public awareness of how our planet’s biodiversity has changed over time.

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Leaders Opportunity Fund (LOF) Grant (2012-2013)

Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust (NSRIT). $150,000


This infrastructure grant was granted to Dr. Gruzd to help support his various research initiatives at the Social Media Lab. The grant will be used to renovate newly allocated space for a research lab and to purchase new equipment to support the lab’s future projects.

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How online social media and online social networks are changing the ways scholars disseminate knowledge and information (2010-2013)

SSHRC Standard Research Grants $161,000


Social media has become more mainstream in recent years, and the use of social media has skyrocketed. Numerous studies have been conducted on how the general public is using SM; however, very little work has been done on how scholars are using and adapting to these new tools. The goal of the project is to fill this significant void in the literature by conducting a comprehensive study using both quantitative and qualitative methods to discover if, how and why Canadian scholars and their international counterparts are using these new tools for knowledge and information dissemination. This research will help us to better understand changing scholarly communication and publishing practices in the age of social media.

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Graphics, Animation and New Media Research Grant (2010-2014)

Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) $170,800


GRAND is part of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE). At its core, GRAND is a research network and commercialization engine, whose goal is to address complex issues in digital media and transform multidisciplinary research into user-centred solutions. GRAND explores the use and application of digital media in a variety of settings including: entertainment, healthcare, education, environmental sustainability, and public policy.

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MITACS Accelerate & Workshop Grant

MITACS $85,000


5 MITACS Accelerate Grant
1 MITACS Workshop Grant

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Selected Articles (6)

Privacy Concerns and Self-Disclosure in Private and Public Uses of Social Media Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social NetworkingVol. 21, No. 7

Anatoliy Gruzd, and Ángel Hernández-García


The study contributes to the ongoing debate about the “privacy paradox” in the context of using social media. The presence of a privacy paradox is often declared if there is no relationship between users' information privacy concerns and their online self-disclosure. However, prior research has produced conflicting results. The novel contribution of this study is that we consider public and private self-disclosure separately. The data came from a cross-national survey of 1,500 Canadians. For the purposes of the study, we only examined the subset of 545 people who had at least one public account and one private account. Going beyond a single view of self-disclosure, we captured five dimensions of self-disclosure: Amount, Depth, Polarity, Accuracy, and Intent; and two aspects of privacy concerns: concerns about organizational and social threats. To examine the collected data, we used Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling. Our research does not support the presence of a privacy paradox as we found a relationship between privacy concerns from organizational and social threats and most of the dimensions of self-disclosure (even if the relationship was weak). There was no difference between patterns of self-disclosure on private versus public accounts. Different privacy concerns may trigger different privacy protection responses and, thus, may interact with self-disclosure differently. Concerns about organizational threats increase awareness and accuracy while reducing amount and depth, while concerns about social threats reduce accuracy and awareness while increasing amount and depth.

Journalists’ Use of Social Media to Infer Public Opinion: The Citizens’ Perspective Social Science Computer Review

Elizabeth Dubois, Anatoliy Gruzd, Jenna Jacobson,


Journalists increasingly use social media data to infer and report public opinion by quoting social media posts, identifying trending topics, and reporting general sentiment. In contrast to traditional approaches of inferring public opinion, citizens are often unaware of how their publicly available social media data are being used and how public opinion is constructed using social media analytics. In this exploratory study based on a census-weighted online survey of Canadian adults (N = 1,500), we examine citizens’ perceptions of journalistic use of social media data. We demonstrate that (1) people find it more appropriate for journalists to use aggregate social media data rather than personally identifiable data, (2) people who use more social media are more likely to positively perceive journalistic use of social media data to infer public opinion, and (3) the frequency of political posting is positively related to acceptance of this emerging journalistic practice, which suggests some citizens want to be heard publicly on social media while others do not. We provide recommendations for journalists on the ethical use of social media data and social media platforms on opt-in functionality.

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Learning in the wild: coding for learning and practice on Reddit Learning, Media and Technology

Haythornthwaite, C., Kumar, P., Gruzd, A., Gilbert, S., Esteve, Delle Valle, M., Paulin, D.


Learning on and through social media is becoming a cornerstone of lifelong learning, creating places not only for accessing information, but also for finding other self-motivated learners. Such is the case for Reddit, the online news sharing site that is also a forum for asking and answering questions. We studied learning practices found in ‘Ask’ subreddits AskScience, Ask_Politics, AskAcademia, and AskHistorians to develop a coding schema for informal learning. This paper describes the process of evaluating and defining a workable coding schema, one that started with attention to learning processes associated with discourse, exploratory talk, and conversational dialogue, and ended with including norms and practices on Reddit and the support of communities of inquiry. Our ‘learning in the wild’ coding schema contributes a content analysis schema for learning through social media, and an understanding of how knowledge, ideas, and resources are shared in open, online learning forums.

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Networked Influence in Social Media American Behavioral Scientist

Gruzd, A. & Wellman, B.


This special issue presents leading-edge work into how the characteristics of social media affect the nature of influence in networks. Our central thesis is that social influence has become networked influence. Influence is networked in two ways: by occurring in social networks and by propagating through online communication networks. We want to understand online social influence in its diversity: who is exercising influence, how it is done, how to measure influence, what its consequences are, and how online and offline influences intertwine in different contexts.

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Enabling community through social media Journal of Medical Internet Research

Gruzd, A. & Haythornthwaite, C.


The paper aims to demonstrate how social network analysis provides a vocabulary and set of techniques for examining interaction patterns via social media. Using the case of the #hcsmca online discussion forum, this paper highlights what has been and can be gained by approaching online community from a social network perspective, as well as providing an inside look at the structure of the #hcsmca community.

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Navigating an imagined Middle–earth: Finding and analyzing text–based and film–based mental images of Middle–earth through TheOneRing.net online fan community First Monday

Martin, J.M.G., Gruzd, A., & Howard, V.


The proliferation of social media brings new opportunities to discover the ways in which we receive, process, and disseminate information — even information that seems confined to our imaginations. Mental imagery — those images we create in our imaginations as we read a text or watch a film — is not well understood. Netlytic, a Web-based system for automated text analysis, permitted the capture and analysis of online discussions relating to mental images of J.R.R. Tolkien’s and Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings as text and as film adaptation, giving insight to our understanding of mental imagery as a form of human cognition and information processing. Furthermore, this study serves as a starting point for further development of academic research using Web-based text analysis systems and online communities.

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