OSCAR Seminar: Using Topic Models to Understand Troll Organizations
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Since 2014, there have been at least 74 nation-state led online influence campaigns targeting other countries through deceptive social media, with 21 of those in 2019 alone.
In this next OSCAR seminar, Professor Jacob Shapiro looks at how the organizational structures of different foreign influence efforts are reflected in their content. Using topic models estimated on a corpus of 43M tweets from authentic users, he shows that troll campaign management practices leave a clear signal in terms of topical choices, changes over time, and movement between different discussions. These patterns reveal several novel approaches for understanding top-down management in online discussions.