Towards measuring content coordination in microblogs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

1 Citation (Scopus)
41 Downloads (Pure)


The value of microblogging services (such as Twitter) and social networks (such as Facebook) in disseminating and discussing important events is currently under serious threat from automated or human contributors employed to distort information. While detecting coordinated attacks by their behaviour (e.g. different accounts posting the same images or links, fake profiles, etc.) has been already explored, here we look at detecting coordination in the content (words, phrases, sentences). We are proposing a metric capable of capturing the differences between organic and coordinated posts, which is based on the estimated probability of coincidentally repeating a word sequence. Our simulation results support our conjecture that only when the metric takes the context and the properties of the repeated sequence into consideration, it is capable of separating organic and coordinated content. We also demonstrate how those context-specific adjustments can be obtained using existing resources.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Information Retrieval
Subtitle of host publication40th European Conference on IR Research, ECIR 2018, Proceedings
EditorsGabriella Pasi, Benjamin Piwowarski, Leif Azzopardi, Allan Hanbury
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9783319769400
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2018
Event40th European Conference on Information Retrieval, ECIR 2018 - Grenoble, France
Duration: 26 Mar 201829 Mar 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference40th European Conference on Information Retrieval, ECIR 2018


  • language models
  • online bots and trolls
  • simulating text


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards measuring content coordination in microblogs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this