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Researchers Develop New Algorithm to Identify Cyber-bullies on Twitter

“In a nutshell, the algorithms ‘learn’ how to tell the difference between bullies and typical users by weighing certain features as they are shown more examples,” said Blackburn

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A man reads tweets on his phone in front of a displayed Twitter logo. VOA

Researchers have developed machine learning algorithms which can identify bullies and aggressors on Twitter with 90 per cent accuracy.

For the study published in the journal Transactions on the Web, the research team analysed the behavioural patterns exhibited by abusive Twitter users and their differences from other users.

“We built crawlers — programs that collect data from Twitter via variety of mechanisms,” said study researcher Jeremy Blackburn from Binghamton University in the US.

“We gathered tweets of Twitter users, their profiles, as well as (social) network-related things, like who they follow and who follows them,” Blackburn said.

The researchers then performed natural language processing and sentiment analysis on the tweets themselves, as well as a variety of social network analyses on the connections between users.

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

They developed algorithms to automatically classify two specific types of offensive online behaviour, i.e. cyber-bullying and cyber-aggression.

The algorithms were able to identify abusive users — who engage in harassing behaviour like those who send death threats or make racist remarks — on Twitter with 90 per cent accuracy.

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“In a nutshell, the algorithms ‘learn’ how to tell the difference between bullies and typical users by weighing certain features as they are shown more examples,” said Blackburn.

“Our research indicates that machine learning can be used to automatically detect users that are cyber-bullies, and thus could help Twitter and other social media platforms remove problematic users,” Blackburn added. (IANS)

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Pakistan Pushes Cyber Warfare Against India on Twitter

Using network analysis, research team discovered there was a significant level of activity from Pakistan related to #GoBackModi

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Cyber Warfare
Pakistan aggressively ups sinister propaganda against India on Twitter. Pixabay

Pakistan is aggressively pushing sinister propaganda against India via ramping up cyber warfare on Twitter, a new report said on Monday.

According to tech startup Logically AI, unscrupulous agents from Pakistan spread misinformation via #GobackModi campaign on Twitter during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Chennai.

Using network analysis, the research team discovered there was a significant level of activity from Pakistan related to #GoBackModi.

This involved Pakistan-based accounts posing as Tamil and Marathi accounts, and accounts along with bots engaging with authentic tweets to boost their engagement.

“Social media has become a hotbed for spreading ‘fake news’. These accounts are generally operated through fake profiles created cross borders. The primary objective to spread misinformation and disinformation through these accounts is to disturb the civil discourse,” Lyric Jain, Founder of Logically, said in a statement.

Cyber Warfare
Regarding Cyber Warfare, Twitter said that the company is committed to the principles of openness, transparency and impartiality and no one is above its rules. Pixabay

“This is the second instance where Logically was able to discover fake accounts that trace back to Pakistani IP addresses. Prior to this, during general elections, we had busted fake news and accounts which also originated from China and Pakistan,” Jain added.

According to Twitter, the company is committed to the principles of openness, transparency and impartiality and no one is above its rules.

“We enforce our policies judiciously and impartially for all individuals — regardless of their political beliefs, professional position or background,” a Twitter spokesperson told IANS.

Giving a befitting reply to Pakistan’s cyber warfare, Netizens in India trended “DontGoBackModi” as the Prime Minister met Jinping in Tamil Nadu’s Mamallapuram.

Earlier in August, Pakistan admitted that 333 Twitter accounts were suspended for writing on Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370.

Cyber Warfare
After Pakistan’s request, Twitter agreed to alert the Pakistan government before it suspends official accounts. Pixabay

The handles were suspended by Twitter following the objection by the Indian authorities in view of false and provocative content being disseminated through the accounts.

Pakistan’s Dawn reported in August that some 200 Twitter accounts were suspended for apparently posting about Kashmir. The claim came from journalists, activists, government officials and fans of the military tweeting.

After Pakistan’s request, Twitter agreed to alert the Pakistan government before it suspends official accounts.

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After abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution from Jammu & Kashmir on August 5, The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), public relations wing of the Pakistan armed forces, began spreading fake news related to Kashmir and sow seeds of discord among security forces and fuel hatred among citizens in India. (IANS)