Hawkes Process for Understanding the Influence of Pathogenic Social Media Accounts

Hamidreza Alvari, Paulo Shakarian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the past years, political events and public opinion on the Web have been allegedly manipulated by accounts dedicated to spreading disinformation and performing malicious activities on social media. These accounts hereafter referred to as 'Pathogenic Social Media (PSM)' accounts, are often controlled by terrorist supporters, water armies or fake news writers and hence can pose threats to social media and general public. Understanding and analyzing PSMs could help social media firms devise sophisticated and automated techniques that could be deployed to stop them from reaching their audience and consequently reduce their threat. In this paper, we leverage the well-known statistical technique 'Hawkes Process' to quantify the influence of PSM accounts on the dissemination of malicious information on social media platforms. Our findings on a real world ISIS-related dataset from Twitter indicate that PSMs are significantly different from regular users in making a message viral. Specifically, we observed that PSMs do not usually post URLs from mainstream news sources. Instead, their tweets usually receive large impact on audience, if contained URLs from Facebook and alternative news outlets. In contrary, tweets posted by regular users receive nearly equal impression regardless of the posted URLs and their sources. Our findings can further shed light on understanding and detecting PSM accounts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 2nd International Conference on Data Intelligence and Security, ICDIS 2019
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages36-42
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781728120805
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019
Event2nd International Conference on Data Intelligence and Security, ICDIS 2019 - South Padre Island, United States
Duration: Jun 28 2019Jun 30 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - 2019 2nd International Conference on Data Intelligence and Security, ICDIS 2019

Conference

Conference2nd International Conference on Data Intelligence and Security, ICDIS 2019
CountryUnited States
CitySouth Padre Island
Period6/28/196/30/19

Keywords

  • Hawkes Processes
  • Malicious Activity
  • Misinformation
  • Pathogenic Social Media Accounts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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  • Cite this

    Alvari, H., & Shakarian, P. (2019). Hawkes Process for Understanding the Influence of Pathogenic Social Media Accounts. In Proceedings - 2019 2nd International Conference on Data Intelligence and Security, ICDIS 2019 (pp. 36-42). [8855306] (Proceedings - 2019 2nd International Conference on Data Intelligence and Security, ICDIS 2019). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICDIS.2019.00013