Wednesday February 26, 2020
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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

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

Next Story

China Uses Twitter and WeChat to Track Users Who Share Information About COVID-19

China using WeChat, Twitter to track people sharing COVID-19 info

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China WeChat Twitter
China is making use of Twitter and WeChat to track down people who share information about the coronavirus epidemic. Pixabay

In a bid to hunt down novel coronavirus critics, China is making use of Twitter and WeChat to track down people who share information what officials consider as “negative information” about the deadly outbreak.

People who have shared information about the virus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan describe relatively tame social media interactions that nonetheless resulted in both direct and indirect responses from the Chinese government, the Vice reported on Monday.

The outbreak of novel coronavirus has become a subject of disagreement in China, also giving way to online protests like the one following the death of whistleblower Li Wenliang racking up angry reactions that are then swiftly taken down.

The hashtag “I want freedom of speech” spread on the Chinese social media site Weibo in the hours after Li’s death, racking up two million posts that were removed by the following day, The Verge reported quoting NPR.

China WeChat Twitter
People who have shared information on WeChat or Twitter about the virus that originated in Chinadescribe relatively tame social media interactions. Wikimedia Commons

According to reports, a man based in the country said that officials visited him at his home in the industrial city of Dongguan after he responded to a tweet that was critical of how the Chinese officials handled the spread of coronavirus.

The officials told him that his tweet was an attack on the Chinese government. His phone was confiscated, and he was forced to sign a statement saying he would not repeat the so-called threat, the Vice report added.

Meanwhile, the coronavirus outbreak has handed a blow to the tech industry. The MWC 2020 in Barcelona had to be cancelled after the outbreak spread.

Also Read- Samsung Admits to Leaking Personal Data of 150 Users Through a Notification Error

The coronavirus death toll in mainland China has increased to 2,663 with 77,658 confirmed cases, health authorities said on Tuesday.

The National Health Commission said that it received reports of 508 new cases and 71 deaths on Monday from 31 provincial-level regions on the mainland. (IANS)