Uncovering Coordinated Networks on Social Media: Methods and Case Studies

Authors

  • Diogo Pacheco Department of Computer Science, University of Exeter, UK Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
  • Pik-Mai Hui Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
  • Christopher Torres-Lugo Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
  • Bao Tran Truong Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
  • Alessandro Flammini Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University Bloomington, USA
  • Filippo Menczer Observatory on Social Media, Indiana University Bloomington, USA

Keywords:

Social network analysis; communities identification; expertise and authority discovery, Qualitative and quantitative studies of social media, Credibility of online content, Trust; reputation; recommendation systems

Abstract

Coordinated campaigns are used to influence and manipulate social media platforms and their users, a critical challenge to the free exchange of information online. Here we introduce a general, unsupervised network-based methodology to uncover groups of accounts that are likely coordinated. The proposed method constructs coordination networks based on arbitrary behavioral traces shared among accounts. We present five case studies of influence campaigns, four of which in the diverse contexts of U.S. elections, Hong Kong protests, the Syrian civil war, and cryptocurrency manipulation. In each of these cases, we detect networks of coordinated Twitter accounts by examining their identities, images, hashtag sequences, retweets, or temporal patterns. The proposed approach proves to be broadly applicable to uncover different kinds of coordination across information warfare scenarios.

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Published

2021-05-22

How to Cite

Pacheco, D., Hui, P.-M., Torres-Lugo, C., Truong, B. T., Flammini, A., & Menczer, F. (2021). Uncovering Coordinated Networks on Social Media: Methods and Case Studies. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 15(1), 455-466. Retrieved from https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/ICWSM/article/view/18075