Desmond Patton

Desmond Upton Patton (@safelab) is an associate professor at the Columbia School of Social Work and a Faculty Affiliate of the Social Intervention Group (SIG) and the Data Science Institute. His research utilizes qualitative and computational data collection methods to examine how and why youth and gang violence, trauma, grief and identity are expressed on social media and the real world impact they have on well-being for low-income youth of color. His current research projects examine: (1) How gang involved youth conceptualize threats on social media; (2) The extent to which social media shapes and facilitates youth and gang violence; and (3) Developing an online tool for detecting aggression in social media posts in partnership with the Data Science Institute at Columbia.

Selected Publications:
  1. Patton, D. U., Frey, W. R., & Gaskell, M. (2019). Guns on social media: Complex interpretations of gun images posted by Chicago youth. Palgrave Communications 5.
  2. Blevins, T., Kwiatkowski, R., Macbeth, J., McKeown, K., Patton, D., & Rambow, O. (2016). Automatically processing tweets from gang-involved youth: Towards detecting loss and aggression. In Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers.
  3. Patton, D. U., Leonard, P., Cahil, L., Macbeth, J., Crosby, S., & Brunton, D.-W. (2016). “Police took my homie I dedicate my life 2 his revenge”: Twitter tensions between gang-involved youth and police in Chicago. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment.
  4. Patton, D. U., Lane, J., Leonard, P., Macbeth, J., & Smith-Lee, J. R. (2016). Gang violence on the digital street: Case study of a South Side Chicago gang member’s Twitter communication. New Media and Society.
  5. Patton, D. U., McKeown, K., Rambow, O., & Macbeth, J. (2016). Using natural language processing and qualitative analysis to intervene in gang violence: A collaboration between a social work researchers and data scientists. In Proceedings of the Second Annual Data for Good Exchange Conference.
  6. Patton, D. U., Sodhi, A., Affinati, S., Lee, J., & Crandall, M. (2016). Post-discharge needs of victims of gun violence in Chicago: A qualitative study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
  7. Patton, D. U., Eschmann, R. D., Elsaesser, C., Bocanegra, E. (2016). Sticks, stones and Facebook accounts: What violence outreach workers know about social media and urban-based gang violence in Chicago. Computers in Human Behavior.