A criticism to society (As seen by twitter analytics)

Stefano Cresci, Marinella Petrocchi, Angelo Spognardi, Maurizio Tesconi, Roberto Di Pietro

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

14 Scopus citations


Analytic tools are beginning to be largely employed, given their ability to rank, e.g., the visibility of social media users. Visibility that, in turns, can have a monetary value, since social media popular people usually either anticipate or establish trends that could impact the real world (at least, from a consumer point of view). The above rationale has fostered the flourishing of private companies providing statistical results for social media analysis. These results have been accepted, and largely diffused, by media without any apparent scrutiny, while Academia has moderately focused its attention on this phenomenon. In this paper, we provide evidence that analytic results provided by field-flagship companies are questionable (at least). In particular, we focus on Twitter and its 'fake followers'. We survey popular Twitter analytics that count the fake followers of some target account. We perform a series of experiments aimed at verifying the trustworthiness of their results. We compare the results of such tools with a machine-learning classifier whose methodology bases on scientific basis and on a sound sampling scheme. The findings of this work call for a serious re-thinking of the methodology currently used by companies providing analytic results, whose present deliveries seem to lack on any reliability.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781479941810
StatePublished - Aug 29 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Generated from Scopus record by KAUST IRTS on 2023-09-20


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