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Who framed Roger Reindeer? De-censorship of Facebook posts by snippet classification

This paper considers online news censorship and it concentrates on censorship of identities. Obfuscating identities may occur for disparate reasons, from military to judiciary ones. In the majority of cases, this happens to protect individuals from being identified and persecuted by hostile people. However, being the collaborative web characterised by a redundancy of information, it is not unusual that the same fact is reported by multiple sources, which may not apply the same restriction policies in terms of censorship. Also, the proven aptitude of social network users to disclose personal information leads to the phenomenon that comments to news can reveal the data withheld in the news itself. This gives us a mean to figure out who the subject of the censored news is. We propose an adaptation of a text analysis approach to unveil censored identities. The approach is tested on a synthesised scenario, which however resembles a real use case. Leveraging a text analysis based on a context classifier trained over snippets from posts and comments of Facebook pages, we achieve promising results. Despite the quite constrained settings in which we operate – such as considering only snippets of very short length – our system successfully detects the censored name, choosing among 10 different candidate names, in more than 50% of the investigated cases. This outperforms the results of two reference baselines. The findings reported in this paper, other than being supported by a thorough experimental methodology and interesting on their own, also pave the way for further investigation on the insidious issues of censorship on the web.


Online Social Networks and Media, 2018

Autori esterni: Alessandro Tommasi (Lucense SCaRL), Cesare Zavattari (Lucense SCaRL)
Autori IIT:

Tipo: Contributo in rivista non ISI
Area di disciplina: Computer Science & Engineering

File: 1-s2.0-S2468696417301283-main.pdf
Da pagina 41 a pagina 57

Attività: Social Media Analysis