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The wheat and the chaff in the universe of Twitter accounts

Originally started as a personal microblogging site, Twitter has been transformed by common use to an information publishing venue. Public characters, politicians, and traditional mass media, as newspapers, use Twitter as a new communication channel. The most famous brands of Industry and Business use this platform for business promotion. Versatility and spread of use have made Twitter the ideal arena for proliferation of anomalous accounts, that behave in unconventional ways. In particular, spammers are those accounts actively putting their efforts in spreading malware, sending spam, and advertising activities of doubtful legality, while “fake followers” are specifically exploited to increase the number of followers of a target account, in order, e.g., to make it more trustworthy and influential. In this talk, we revise and evaluate methodologies for detecting spam accounts, proposed in the past by the Academia, and proposals for revealing fake followers, proposed by the grey literature. We also report about our recent results on classification of anomalous Twitter behaviour, highlighting those accounts features that best help to discriminate among spammers, fake followers, and genuine users.


From 02/04/2014-14.30 to 02/04/2014-14.30 , Classroom 2, San Francesco Building, IMT Lucca

Speaker: Marinella Petrocchi

Responsible: Marinella Petrocchi