Bots actually target and pursue individual influencers

November 20, 2018

Summary: New research co-authored by assistant research professor and associate director of Informatics at the University of Southern California Department of Computer Science, Emilio Ferrara, looks at "social hacking" over social networks that can increase violent commentary and can affect voting behavior.

Where: The paper, "Bots Increase Exposure to Negative and Inflammatory Content in Online Social Systems" is published today in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.

Method and Context:

The researchers believe this study to be one of the first studies to investigate the content bots generated and the specific strategy of the bots. In reviewing nearly 4 million posts on Twitter, researchers from Fondazione Bruno Kessler and the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, attempted to understand online behavioral dynamics, the type of content bots shared, and which users they targeted in the context of Catalonia's referendum on independence.

The researchers discovered that influencers who supported Catalan's independence were specifically targeted by the bots and became over 100 times more likely to engage with them. These influencers were also exposed to negative and violent narratives pursued by the bots.

Findings: Quotes from study co- author Emilio Ferrara:
-end-
Media Availability: Please reach out to co-author Emilio Ferrara directly for media inquiries emiliofe@usc.edu

University of Southern California

Related Social Networks Articles from Brightsurf:

AI methods of analyzing social networks find new cell types in tissue
In situ sequencing enables gene activity inside body tissues to be depicted in microscope images.

Teen social networks linked to adult depression
Teens who have a larger number of friends may be less likely to suffer from depression later in life, especially women, a new MSU research study has found.

Drexel study: Measuring social networks of young adults with autism
While social isolation is a core challenge associated with autism, researchers from Drexel University's A.J.

Study suggests optimal social networks of no more than 150 people
New rules of engagement on the battlefield will require a deep understanding of networks and how they operate according to new Army research.

Social networks can support academic success
Social networks have been found to influence academic performance: students tend to perform better with high-performers among their friends, as some people are capable of inspiring others to try harder, according to Sofia Dokuka, Dilara Valeyeva and Maria Yudkevich of the HSE University.

Brain builds and uses maps of social networks, physical space, in the same way
Even in these social-distanced days, we keep in our heads a map of our relationships with other people: family, friends, coworkers and how they relate to each other.

Twitter fight: Birds use social networks to pick opponents wisely
In a new article published in the journal Current Opinion in Psychology, UC biologist Elizabeth Hobson says animals such as monk parakeets seem to understand where they fit in a dominance hierarchy and pick their fights accordingly.

Study questions benefits of social networks to disaster response
Faced with a common peril, people delay making decisions that might save lives, fail to alert each other to danger and spread misinformation.

'McDonaldization' based analysis of Russian social networks
The author describes his concept this way: 'the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of recent'.

Hunter-gatherers facilitated a cultural revolution through small social networks
Hunter-gatherer ancestors, from around 300,000 years ago, facilitated a cultural revolution by developing ideas in small social networks, and regularly drawing on knowledge from neighbouring camps, suggests a new study by UCL and University of Zurich.

Read More: Social Networks News and Social Networks Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.