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Recognizing Network Manipulation: A short history and current challenges

  • Public
By Brian December 20, 2013

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We live in an increasingly interconnected world, one in which people turn to the Web and online social networks for information when making important medical, financial and political decisions. As more and more people use sites, such as Google, Bing, Facebook and Twitter, on a daily basis as a primary source for locating information, interested groups and individuals try to trick them in promoting misinformation by using "spamming" techniques.

This talk covers a short history of Web spam and how search engines and online social networks have tried to cope with it over the years. Professor Metaxas describes the ways in which Web spam is related to social propaganda and presents socially-inspired algorithms that are able to reveal spammers. Several examples of successful uncovering of misinformation that emerged during the 2010 elections are also presented.

Panagiotis Takis Metaxas is a professor of computer science and founder of the Media Arts and Sciences program at Wellesley College, and an affiliate at Harvard's Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS). This presentation took place at the CRCS on October 17, 2011.