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New algorithm may help locate fake Facebook and Twitter accounts

Using the meta-features, the researchers, constructed a generic classifier that can detect fake profiles

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Tweeters unable to automatically save tweets to facebook. Pixabay
Tweeters unable to automatically save tweets to facebook. Pixabay
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Scientists have developed a new generic algorithm based on machine-learning to detect fake accounts on social network platforms including Facebook and Twitter, an advance with considerable potential for applications in the cyber-security arena.

“With recent disturbing news about failures to safeguard user privacy, and targeted use of social media to influence elections, rooting out fake users has never been of greater importance,” said lead researcher Dima Kagan from the Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in Israel.

The icon of Facebook.
Facebook has many fake profiles. Pixabay

The study showed that the algorithm is generic, and efficient both in revealing fake users and in disclosing the influential people in social networks. “Overall, the results demonstrated that in a real-life friendship scenario we can detect people who have the strongest friendship ties as well as malicious users, even on Twitter,” the researchers said.

Based on machine-learning algorithms, the new method, detailed in the journal Social Network Analysis and Mining, works on the assumption that fake accounts tend to establish improbable links to other users in the networks.

Also Read: Facebook Rolls Out Fact-Checking News In Karnataka

It constructs a link prediction classifier that can estimate, with high accuracy, the probability of a link existing between two users. It also generates a new set of meta-features based on the features created by the link prediction classifier.

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Fake accounts on Twitter will be identifie too. VOA

Using the meta-features, the researchers, constructed a generic classifier that can detect fake profiles in a variety of online social networks. “We tested our algorithm on simulated and real-world data sets on 10 different social networks and it performed well on both,” Kagan said.

Previously, researchers from the BGU had developed the Social Privacy Protector (SPP) to help users evaluate their friends list in seconds to identify which have few or no mutual links and might be “fake” profiles. IANS

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Twitter Rolls out Update For iOS Users

Twitter has also considering an edit functionality

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Twitter
Twitter rolling out updated search tab for iOS users. Pixabay

Twitter is rolling out an update for iOS users in the US where they can see tweets they care about the most in the search tab via new “sections”.

Currently, the Twitter search tab in the iOS app offers a vertically scrolling list of trending topics.

The users can now move horizontally to view the top news and tweets.

“We added sections so it’s easier for you to see the Tweets you care about the most, starting today in the US,” the company tweeted late on Wednesday.

Twitter, India
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter has also considering an edit functionality.

Its CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey, who is in India this week, said on November 12 that the micro-blogging platform has been considering edit button for quite some time but did not reveal any specific timeline.

Also Read- We Disagree with Apple But Android Use Purely on Merit: Facebook

“A lot of people want the edit button because they want to quickly fix a mistake they made. Like a misspelling or tweeting the wrong URL. That’s a lot more achievable than allowing people to edit any tweet all the way back in time,” Dorsey told the gathering at IIT-Delhi. (IANS)