2nd Workshop on Data for the Wellbeing of Most Vulnerable

June 7, 2021

The scale, reach, and real-time nature of the Internet is opening new frontiers for understanding the vulnerabilities in our societies, including inequalities and fragility in the face of a changing world. From tracking seasonal illnesses like the flu across countries and populations, to understanding the context of mental conditions such as anorexia and bulimia, web data has the potential to capture the struggles and wellbeing of diverse groups of people. Further, the very absence of these populations in data can reveal areas of concern, indicating potential lack of access to vital technologies, and potentially being overlooked by algorithms trained on such data. The recent developments around COVID-19 epidemic makes these issues even more urgent, with an unequal share of both disease and economic burden among various populations.

Thus, the aim of this workshop is to encourage the community to use new sources of data to study the wellbeing of vulnerable populations including children, elderly, racial or ethnic minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, underinsured or those with certain medical conditions. The selection of appropriate data sources, identification of vulnerable groups, and ethical considerations in the subsequent analysis are of great importance in the extension of the benefits of big data revolution to these populations. As such, the topic is highly multidisciplinary, bringing together researchers and practitioners in computer science, epidemiology, demography, linguistics, and many others.

We anticipate topics such as the below will be relevant:

  • Establishing cohorts, data de-biasing

  • Validation via individual-level or aggregate-level data

  • Linking data to disease and other well-being

  • Population data sources for validation

  • Correlation analysis and other statistical methods

  • Longitudinal analysis on social media

  • Spatial, linguistic, and temporal analyses

  • Privacy, ethics, and informed consent

  • Data quality issues

For more ideas, see first workshop at ICWSM'19 webpage.

Keynote Speakers

Elisa Omodei

Lead Data Scientist of the Hunger Monitoring Unit at the UN World Food Programme’s Research, Assessment and Monitoring division. She serves as Vice-President Secretary of the Complex Systems Society.

Claudia Cappa

Senior Adviser for Statistics and Monitoring in the Data and Analytics Section, at the UNICEF headquarters. She is the focal point for data collection, data analysis and methodological work on Early Childhood Development, Child Disability and Child Protection from Violence, Exploitation and Abuse.

Vedran Sekara

Assistant Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen and a Principal Researcher & Machine Learning Lead at UNICEF


June 7, 2021 (below times are in Central European Summer Time)

3:00 - Welcome

3:10 - Keynote 1 - Claudia Cappa "Using social media data for assessing children’s exposure to violence during the COVID-19 pandemic"

3:40 - Keynote 2 - Elisa Omodei "Mapping food insecurity with non-traditional data and predictive modeling"

4:10 - break

4:15 - Keynote 3 - Vedran Sekara "The Feasibility of Using 
Big Data & AI for Development"

4:45 - Panel (45 mins)

5:30 - break

5:40 - Paper talks (click on the title to view the paper/abstract)

- Individual-level Anxiety Detection and Prediction from Longitudinal YouTube and Google Search Engagement Logs (Anis Zaman, Boyu Zhang, Vincent Silenzio, Ehsan Hoque and Henry Kautz)

- The role of vulnerability in mediating the relationship between threat perception and the use of face masks in the context of COVID-19 (Daniela Perrotta, Emanuele Del Fava and Emilio Zagheni)

- Tactical Reframing of Online Disinformation Campaigns Against The Istanbul Convention (Tugrulcan Elmas, Rebekah Overdorf and Karl Aberer)

- The Role of Data-Driven Discovery in Detecting Vulnerable Sub-populations (Girmaw Abebe Tadesse, Skyler Speakman and Celia Cintas)

- Getting "clean" from nonsuicidal self-injury: Addiction language and experiences on the subreddit r/selfharm (Mckenzie Himelein-Wachowiak, Salvatore Giorgi, Amy Kwarteng, Destiny Schriefer, Chase Smitterberg, Kenna Yadeta, Elise Bragard and Brenda Curtis)

- Harnessing Computer Vision Based on Social Media Data to Save Lives and Minimize Economic Loss after Natural Disasters (Thomas Chen)

Call for Papers & Abstracts


Until May 31, we welcome submissions of 2-page abstracts (not a part of the proceedings) on ongoing work, reflections on past experiences, discussing privacy and ethical concerns, and other opinions. The abstracts can be in any format (though still blind, without author names), and submitted at the link below.

Submit here: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=dwmv21

Call for PAPERS & ABSTRACTS (past)

We welcome both 2-page abstracts, as well as Long (8 pages) and Short (4 pages) papers. The Long and Short papers will be published in ICWSM Workshop proceedings by the AAAI Press. Please follow the AAAI format, as outlined here: https://www.icwsm.org/2021/index.html#guidelines

The reviewing process will be double blind, so please anonymize your submissions.

Program Committee:

  • Pablo Aragón, Wikimedia Foundation

  • Oscar Araque, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

  • Mariano Beiro, Universidad de Buenos Aires

  • Mike Conway, University of Utah

  • Aleksandr Farseev, National University of Singapore

  • Emilio Zagheni, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

  • Johan Bollen, Indiana University Bloomington

  • Daniela Perrotta, Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Important Dates

  • Paper submission: March 27, 2021

  • Paper acceptance notification: April 10, 2021

  • Final camera-ready paper due: April 17, 2021

  • Abstract submission due: May 31, 2021

  • ICWSM-2021 Workshops Day: June 7, 2021


Daniela Paolotti

ISI Foundation, Italy

Yelena Mejova

ISI Foundation, Italy

Kyriaki Kalimeri

ISI Foundation, Italy

Rumi Chunara

New York University, USA

Contact the organizers at dwmv21@easychair.org

The Venue

Due to the pandemic, the event was held online only.

ISI Foundation’s Lagrange Project supported by CRT Foundation