Coordinated campaigns are used to manipulate social media platforms and influence their users, a critical challenge to the free exchange of information. Our paper introduces a general, unsupervised, network-based methodology to uncover groups of accounts that are likely coordinated. The proposed method constructs coordination networks based on arbitrary behavioral traces shared among accounts. We present five case studies of influence campaigns, four of which in the diverse contexts of U.S. elections, Hong Kong protests, the Syrian civil war, and cryptocurrency manipulation. In each of these cases, we detect networks of coordinated Twitter accounts by examining their identities, images, hashtag sequences, retweets, or temporal patterns. The proposed approach proves to be broadly applicable to uncover different kinds of coordination across information warfare scenarios.
By Diogo Pacheco, Pik-Mai Hui, Chris Torres, Bao Truong, Sandro Flammini & Fil Menczer
Read the full open-access article from the Proceedings ICWSM2021