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Indian Origin scientist’s team predict outcome of tweets

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Arizona: A team of researchers including Indian origin scientist developed a method which will be able to predict with the accuracy of the seventy per cent the outcome of tweets. It will predict if the tweets that are part of an ongoing debate or a movement, whether they will become part of a later and even violent protest later.

The study from researchers at Arizona State University, Texas A&M University and Yahoo and funded in part by the US Military’s Office of Naval Research looked at 2,686 Twitter posts to create a system that reliably spots future online protesters.

“The ways in which protest-related events affect a person are not observable, resulting in a lack of knowledge of factors operating at that time causing his next post to be a declaration of protest,” wrote lead researchers Suhas Ranganath, Fred Morstatter and colleagues from Arizona State University.

“A user is subject to various types of influence in his past and many of them are in conflict with each other. This may lead to ambiguities on whether his posts will contain declarations of protest in the future,” they added.

The paper titled “Predicting Online Protest Participation of Social Media Users” was published as part of the proceedings of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) conference in Phoenix, Arizona, recently.

To reach this conclusion, the team observed tweets regarding the Nigerian general election in 2015, which eventually sparked widespread protests due to irregularities and militant violence.

The team employed Brownian motion theory to design the formula — a theory that is usually employed to track the movement of particles as well as model stock market fluctuations and other highly complicated systems, www.nextgov.com reported.

The findings can also be applied to scenarios when the complete spreading mechanism is not known like in the case of terror-related tweets.

“In these scenarios, we go into the history of the user and see who have tried to interact with him and the nature of the interactions. So the individual user’s response to the attempt of organizations like IS (Islamic State) to interact with him can be modelled using the proposed method,” the team told Defense One website.

The researchers, however, caution that predicting a protest tweet is different than predicting the moment of actual radicalisation

The paper is part of a $750,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research to study how crisis manifests itself in social media.(IANS)

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Twitter Bans All Kinds of Political Ads From its Platform

Experts said the onus is now on Facebook which has become a platform for spreading misleading and fake political ads

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Twitter is a social media app that encourages short tweets and brief conversations. Pixabay

Putting pressure on Facebook to follow suit, Twitter has officially banned all kinds of political ads from its platform, weeks after CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the micro-blogging site would no longer allow those ads.

No political content will be promoted from candidates, parties, governments or officials, public accounts committees (PACs) and certain political non-profit groups.

“Twitter globally prohibits the promotion of political content. We have made this decision based on our belief that political message reach should be earned, not bought,” the micro-blogging platform said on Friday.

It defines political content as content that references a candidate, political party, elected or appointed government official, election, referendum, ballot measure, legislation, regulation, directive or judicial outcome.

“Ads that contain references to political content, including appeals for votes, solicitations of financial support, and advocacy for or against any of the above-listed types of political content, are prohibited under this policy,” said Twitter.

On October 31, Dorsey tweeted: “While internet advertising is incredibly powerful and very effective for commercial advertisers, that power brings significant risks to politics.”

Business, Twitter, Invest, Investment, Start-up, Kochi
A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

News of the ban divided America’s political camps for the 2020 election. Brad Parscale, manager of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, said the ban was “yet another attempt by the left to silence Trump and conservatives”.

Twitter said it also does not allow ads of any type by candidates, political parties, or elected or appointed government officials.

“News publishers who meet our exemption criteria may run ads that reference political content and/or prohibited advertisers under our political content policy, but may not include advocacy for or against those topics or advertisers,” it elaborated.

Dorsey had explained his position in a thread of tweets.

Also Read: Sambhar Lake Becomes Death Bed for Large Number of Birds

“We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…” he tweeted.

Internet political ads, he said, presented “entirely new challenges to civic discourse”. These challenges included “machine learning-based optimization of messaging”, “micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes”.

Experts said the onus is now on Facebook which has become a platform for spreading misleading and fake political ads. (IANS)