Uncloak fake twitter accounts with BotOrNot

We have often heard people talking about fake accounts in social networking sites. Many of them are confused whether the account is fake or real. Now they can have an answer to it. A new tool has been devised to check if a twitter account is being operated by a human or a bot.


The tool has been named as `BotOrnot’ and is developed by the researchers at Indiana University. The tool makes a real time analysis of more than 1000 features from the users’ twitter content, friendship network and other information. This project is being funded by the U.S military and National Science Foundation and they sense the peril from such illegal spread of information.Using the features and examples of Twitter bots provided by Texas A&M University professor James Caverlee’s infolab, the researchers are able to create statistical models which have the ability to discriminate between humans and social bots.

Alessandro Flammini, who works as an associate professor of informatics and principal investigator on the projects said,”We have applied a statistical learning framework to analyze Twitter data, but the ‘secret sauce’ is in the set of more than one thousand predictive features able to discriminate between human users and social bots, based on content and timing of their tweets, and the structure of their networks” .This system has been approved by Flammini as an accurate and effective one

Fil Menczer the informatics and computer science professor who leads the IU’s Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, which is the workplace for the project said,”Part of the motivation of our research is that we don’t really know how bad the problem is in quantitative terms” .

Many are using these social bots to spread rumors, exploit, misguide, spam, malware, give misinformation, cause political disorder and public unrest. Mostly they have been targeting the celebrities and offending them.The researchers said it is their belief that these kinds of social bots could be dangerous for the safety of the people, can undermine democracy, cause panic during an emergency, alleviate cybercrime, curb progress of public policies and can cause turmoil in the stock market.The researchers said that their goal is to support human efforts to tackle misinformation with truthful information and ensure stability in political, economic and social systems worldwide.

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