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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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Account Removal, Information Requests up From India: Twitter

"The number of reports we received from governments of terrorist content decreased by 77 per cent compared to the previous reporting period," said Twitter

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Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

The Indian government made information requests for 355 Twitter accounts in the January-June 2018 period while law enforcement agencies in the country asked the micro-blogging platform to remove 237 accounts for violating the law of the land.

According to Twitter’s 13th biannual Transparency Report, the company provided some information to the Indian government in 11 per cent of cases.

“Twitter withheld two accounts and 23 Tweets in response to a legal demand from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) under Section 69A of the India Information Technology Act, 2000, for propagating objectionable content,” the company said in the report late Thursday.

When it comes to legal requests (including 9 requests in the form of court order) from India, 19 accounts and 498 Tweets were withheld as per the rules.

In total, Twitter met the legal demands to withhold some content from India in 5 per cent of the cases.

“Governments (including law enforcement agencies), organisations chartered to combat discrimination, and lawyers representing individuals are among the many complainants that submit legal requests,” said Twitter.

In July-December 2017, the Indian government made information requests for 315 Twitter accounts and law enforcement agencies had asked the social network to remove 144 accounts.

Globally, Twitter received 10 per cent more government information requests (combined emergency disclosure requests and non-emergency requests), which is the largest percentage increase since its July-December 2015 report.

“The latest report shows that Twitter received approximately 80 per cent more global legal demands, impacting more than twice as many accounts compared to the previous reporting period.

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Twitter on a smartphone device. VOA

“Similar to the last reporting period, roughly 87 per cent of the total global volume originated from only two countries: Russia and Turkey,” Twitter said.

For the first time, Twitter published metrics pertaining to its actions to fight spam and other malicious forms of automation.

“We challenge millions of potentially spammy accounts every month, requesting additional details, like email address and phone numbers to authenticate them. From January to June, 2018, approximately 75 per cent of accounts challenged ultimately did not pass those challenges and were suspended,” informed the company.

The average number of reports it received through reporting flow continued to drop — from an average of approximately 868,349 in January to approximately 504,259 in June.

“These report decreases indicate the effectiveness of our proprietary built technology in proactively identifying and challenging accounts at source and at scale,” said Twitter.

In the same period, Twitter suspended 487,363 accounts for violations related to child sexual exploitation.

Also Read- U.S. Welcomes Pakistan’s Actions Towards Peace in Afghanistan

Nearly 97 per cent of these accounts were proactively flagged by a combination of technology, including PhotoDNA, and other purpose-built internal proprietary tools.

Twitter also suspended a total of 205,156 accounts flagged for promoting terrorism. Of those suspensions, 91 per cent consisted of accounts that were proactively flagged by internal, proprietary tools.

“The number of reports we received from governments of terrorist content decreased by 77 per cent compared to the previous reporting period,” said Twitter. (IANS)