Taha Yasseri

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Taha Yasseri
Taha Yasseri.jpg
Taha Yasseri
Persian: طاها یاسری

(1984-09-06) 6 September 1984 (age 38)
Alma materSharif University of Technology (MSc)[1]
University of Göttingen (PhD)
AwardsLaureate Award, IRC, 2022.
W. J. M. Mackenzie Book Prize, Political Studies Association, 2017.
Scientific career
FieldsComplex systems
Computational social science
Network science
Social data science
Human dynamics[2]
InstitutionsUniversity of Oxford
Oxford Internet Institute
Alan Turing Institute
ThesisNanoscale pattern formation on ion-sputtered surfaces (2010)
Doctoral advisorReiner Kree[3]

Taha Yasseri (born 6 September 1984) is a physicist and sociologist known for his research on Wikipedia and computational social science.[2] He is an associate professor at the School of Sociology at University College Dublin, Ireland. He was formerly a senior research fellow in computational social science at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), University of Oxford, a Turing Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute for data science, and a research fellow in humanities and social sciences at Wolfson College, Oxford. Yasseri is one of the leading scholars in computational social science and his research has been widely covered in mainstream media.[4][5][6][7][8][9] Yasseri obtained his PhD in theoretical physics of complex systems at the age of 25 from the University of Göttingen, Germany.


Yasseri was educated at Sharif University of Technology[1] and the University of Göttingen where he was awarded a PhD in physics for research supervised by Reiner Kree [Wikidata].[10]

Research and career[edit]

Yasseri's research investigates complex systems, computational social science,[11] network science,[12] social data science and human dynamics.[2][13][14]


Yasseri has studied the statistical trends of systemic bias at Wikipedia introduced by editing conflicts and their resolution.[15] His research examined the counterproductive work behavior of edit warring. Yasseri contended that simple reverts or "undo" operations were not the most significant measure of counterproductive behavior at Wikipedia and relied instead on the statistical measurement of detecting "reverting/reverted pairs" or "mutually reverting edit pairs". Such a "mutually reverting edit pair" is defined where one editor reverts the edit of another editor who then, in sequence, returns to revert the first editor. The results were tabulated for several language versions of Wikipedia. The English Wikipedia's three largest conflict rates belonged to the articles George W. Bush, Anarchism and Muhammad. By comparison, for the German Wikipedia, the three largest conflict rates at the time of the study were for the articles covering Croatia, Scientology and 9/11 conspiracy theories.[16]

In a study published by PLoS ONE in 2012 he estimated the share of contributions to different editions of Wikipedia from different regions of the world. It reported that the proportion of the edits made from North America was 51% for the English Wikipedia, and 25% for the simple English Wikipedia.[17] The Wikimedia Foundation hopes to increase the number of editors in the Global South to 37% by 2015.[citation needed]

Machine sociology and bots conflict[edit]

In a 2017 article titled "Even Good Bots Fight",[18] Yasseri and his colleagues studied interactions between Wikipedia bots. Their work illustrating the unpredictable and somewhat surprising social interactions between bots, ignited a discussion on the topic of machine sociology and the human-like behaviour of systems of semi-autonomous agents such as Wikipedia bots.[19] Drawing on complex systems theory, Yasseri argues that even simple and predictable bots with a common goal and design might show unpredictable emergent behaviour when deployed at mass scale.[20]

Social media and politics[edit]

Yasseri has studied the role of social media in politics. He has used Wikipedia page view statistics and Google search volumes to understand and potentially predict electoral popularity in different countries.[21] He has co-written Political Turbulence; How Social Media Shape Collective Action[22][23] which was selected among the best politics books of 2016 by The Guardian[24] and was awarded the Political Studies Association book of the year award.[25]


Yasseri is a TEDx Thessaloniki 2019 speaker.[26]


  1. ^ a b Taha Yasseri's ORCID 0000-0002-1800-6094
  2. ^ a b c Taha Yasseri publications indexed by Google Scholar Edit this at Wikidata
  3. ^ Hartmann, Alexander K; Kree, Reiner; Yasseri, Taha (2009). "Simulating discrete models of pattern formation by ion beam sputtering". Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter. 21 (22): 224015. Bibcode:2009JPCM...21v4015H. doi:10.1088/0953-8984/21/22/224015. ISSN 0953-8984. PMID 21715753. S2CID 27445208.
  4. ^ "These Computer Scientists Are Making a 'Global Map of Sexism'". Motherboard. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  5. ^ Sample, Ian (23 February 2017). "Study reveals bot-on-bot editing wars raging on Wikipedia's pages". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  6. ^ Price, Michael (11 October 2016). "We care when an airplane crashes. And then we don't". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aal0248.
  7. ^ Pearson, Jordan (15 July 2016). "Research Confirms Dating Apps Are a Sad Game". Vice. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  8. ^ Pappas, Stephanie (5 April 2017). "How Long Do We Remember Major Plane Crashes?". Live Science.
  9. ^ Wachs, Johannes; Yasseri, Taha; Lengyel, Balázs; Kertész, János (2019). "Social capital predicts corruption risk in towns". Royal Society Open Science. 6 (4): 182103. arXiv:1810.05485. Bibcode:2019RSOS....682103W. doi:10.1098/rsos.182103. ISSN 2054-5703. PMC 6502378. PMID 31183137. open access
  10. ^ Yasseri, Taha (2010). Nanoscale pattern formation on ion-sputtered surfaces. uni-goettingen.de (PhD thesis). University of Göttingen. OCLC 837961471. icon of an open green padlock
  11. ^ Ciampaglia, Giovanni Luca; Mashhadi, Afra; Yasseri, Taha (2017). Social Informatics. Springer. ISBN 9783319672168.
  12. ^ Szolnoki, Attila; Mestyán, Márton; Yasseri, Taha; Kertész, János (2013). "Early Prediction of Movie Box Office Success Based on Wikipedia Activity Big Data". PLOS ONE. 8 (8): e71226. arXiv:1211.0970. Bibcode:2013PLoSO...871226M. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071226. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3749192. PMID 23990938.
  13. ^ Samoilenko, Anna; Yasseri, Taha (2014). "The distorted mirror of Wikipedia: a quantitative analysis of Wikipedia coverage of academics". EPJ Data Science. Springer Publishing. 3 (1). arXiv:1310.8508. doi:10.1140/epjds20. S2CID 4971771. open access
  14. ^ Schellekensa, Menno H.; Holstegeb, Floris; Yasseria, Taha (2019). "Female scholars need to achieve more for equal public recognition". arXiv:1904.06310. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ Szolnoki, Attila; Yasseri, Taha; Sumi, Robert; Rung, András; Kornai, András; Kertész, János (2012). "Dynamics of Conflicts in Wikipedia". PLOS ONE. 7 (6): e38869. arXiv:1202.3643. Bibcode:2012PLoSO...738869Y. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038869. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3380063. PMID 22745683.
  16. ^ Yasseri, Taha; Spoerri, Anselm; Graham, Mark; Kertesz, Janos (2013). "The Most Controversial Topics in Wikipedia: A Multilingual and Geographical Analysis". Rochester, NY. arXiv:1305.5566. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2269392. S2CID 12133330. SSRN 2269392. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. ^ Yasseri, Taha; Sumi, Robert; Kertész, János (2012). "Circadian Patterns of Wikipedia Editorial Activity: A Demographic Analysis". PLOS ONE. 7 (1): e30091. arXiv:1109.1746. Bibcode:2012PLoSO...730091Y. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0030091. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3260192. PMID 22272279.
  18. ^ Tsvetkova, Milena; García-Gavilanes, Ruth; Floridi, Luciano; Yasseri, Taha (2017). "Even good bots fight: The case of Wikipedia". PLOS ONE. 12 (2): e0171774. arXiv:1609.04285. Bibcode:2017PLoSO..1271774T. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171774. PMC 5322977. PMID 28231323.
  19. ^ Simon, Matt. "Internet Bots Fight Each Other Because They're All Too Human". Wired – via www.wired.com.
  20. ^ Yasseri, Taha. "Never mind killer robots – even the good ones are scarily unpredictable". The Conversation.
  21. ^ Bohannon, John (2017). "Election polling is in trouble. Can internet data save it?". Science. doi:10.1126/science.aal0695.
  22. ^ Margetts, Helen; John, Peter; Hale, Scott A.; Yasseri, Taha (2016). Political turbulence: how social media shape collective action. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691159225.
  23. ^ "Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action, by Helen Margetts, Peter John, Scott Hale and Taha Yasseri". Times Higher Education (THE). 21 January 2016.
  24. ^ Hinsliff, Gaby (1 November 2016). "The best politics books of 2016". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  25. ^ OII (5 December 2017). "Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action awarded the Political Studies Association book prize". Oxford Internet Institute. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  26. ^ Anon (2019). "Dr Taha Yasseri: TEDxThessaloniki". tedxthessaloniki.com.