Skip to content


Research: “Who Falls for Online Political Manipulation? The Case of the Russian Interference Campaign in the 2016 US Presidential Election

Research Article: “Who Falls for Online Political Manipulation? The Case of the Russian Interference Campaign in the 2016 US Presidential Election” (Preprint)

“The following article (preprint) was recently shared on arXiv.

Title

Who Falls for Online Political Manipulation? The Case of the Russian Interference Campaign in the 2016 US Presidential Election

Authors

Adam Badawy
University of Southern California

Kristina Lerman
University of Southern California

Emilio Ferrara
University of Southern California

Source

arXiv

Abstract

Social media, once hailed as a vehicle for democratization and the promotion of positive social change across the globe, are under attack for becoming a tool of political manipulation and spread of disinformation. A case in point is the alleged use of trolls by Russia to spread malicious content in Western elections. This paper examines the Russian interference campaign in the 2016 US presidential election on Twitter.

Our aim is twofold: first, we test whether predicting users who spread trolls’ content is feasible in order to gain insight on how to contain their influence in the future; second, we identify features that are most predictive of users who either intentionally or unintentionally play a vital role in spreading this malicious content.

We collected a dataset with over 43 million elections-related posts shared on Twitter between September 16 and November 9, 2016, by about 5.7 million users. This dataset includes accounts associated with the Russian trolls identified by the US Congress. P

Proposed models are able to very accurately identify users who spread the trolls’ content (average AUC score of 96%, using 10-fold validation). We show that political ideology, bot likelihood scores, and some activity-related account meta data are the most predictive features of whether a user spreads trolls’ content or not.

Direct to Full Text Article (Preprint)
17 pages; PDF.”

Stephen

Posted on: August 31, 2018, 6:51 am Category: Uncategorized

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.