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Professor Mingming Cheng

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Meet Mingming Cheng – dad of two, social media researcher, and a pretty decent recreational swimmer (if he does say so himself). He leads the Curtin Social Media Research Lab where he works with big data (data science) in the big world of social media.

Describe your research in 3 words: Data-driven, social media, interdisciplinary.

Research highlight: “We’ve teamed up with our partner, the Minderoo Foundation, to tackle one of the most complex human rights issues of this generation – modern slavery on social media. With growing evidence that social media is being used to target potential victims and recruiters becoming increasingly savvy, more needs to be done to protect users.

We knew a traditional approach to combat modern slavery on social media wasn’t going to work, so we pioneered an initiative that combines social listening and advanced analytics. Using this, we’ve been able to better understand both sides of the issue: how victims are being recruited and how we can protect them.

Our findings have helped inform an evidence-based submission by the Minderoo Foundation to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.”

If he could sit-in with any Faculty for a day: “I’d pick Humanities. Social media raises so many questions about identity and our journey towards – and sometimes away – from ourselves. Our work is more intertwined than people realise.”

Beyond work: “I make sure to balance out my work time with lots of outdoor activities – mainly swimming and hiking!”

A piece of advice: “Don’t be afraid to ask for help and know there is support out there at Curtin. Whether that’s your colleagues, supervisor, or the services available at the University. You can’t make big impacts alone. It really does take a community.”

Connect with Mingming!

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