Jun 4, 2021

Mass scale manipulation of Twitter Trends discovered

Posted by in categories: information science, robotics/AI

New EPFL research has found that almost half of local Twitter trending topics in Turkey are fake, a scale of manipulation previously unheard of. It also proves for the first time that many trends are created solely by bots due to a vulnerability in Twitter’s Trends algorithm.

Social media has become ubiquitous in our modern, daily lives. It has changed the way that people interact, connecting us in previously unimaginable ways. Yet, where once our social media networks probably consisted of a small circle of friends most of us are now part of much larger communities that can influence what we read, do, and even think.

One influencing mechanism, for example, is “Twitter Trends.” The platform uses an algorithm to determine hashtag-driven topics that become popular at a given point in time, alerting to the top words, phrases, subjects and popular hashtags globally and locally.

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