Quality & Quantity

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 2739–2755 | Cite as

Inference of the Russian drug community from one of the largest social networks in the Russian Federation

  • L. J. Dijkstra
  • A. V. Yakushev
  • P. A. C. Duijn
  • A. V. Boukhanovsky
  • P. M. A. Sloot
Article

Abstract

The criminal nature of narcotics complicates the direct assessment of a drug community, while having a good understanding of the type of people drawn or currently using drugs is vital for finding effective intervening strategies. Especially for the Russian Federation this is of immediate concern given the dramatic increase it has seen in drug abuse since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early nineties. Using unique data from the Russian social network ‘LiveJournal’ with over 39 million registered users worldwide, we were able for the first time to identify the on-line drug community by context sensitive text mining of the users’ blogs using a dictionary of known drug-related official and ‘slang’ terminology. By comparing the interests of the users that most actively spread information on narcotics over the network with the interests of the individuals outside the on-line drug community, we found that the ‘average’ drug user in the Russian Federation is generally mostly interested in topics such as Russian rock, non-traditional medicine, UFOs, Buddhism, yoga and the occult. We identify three distinct scale-free sub-networks of users which can be uniquely classified as being either ‘infectious’, ‘susceptible’ or ‘immune’.

Keywords

Illicit drug use Drug use Social network LiveJournal Power-law  Russian Federation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. J. Dijkstra
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. V. Yakushev
    • 2
  • P. A. C. Duijn
    • 3
  • A. V. Boukhanovsky
    • 2
  • P. M. A. Sloot
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (NRU ITMO)Saint PetersburgRussian Federation
  3. 3.Criminal Intelligence AnalysisDutch PoliceThe HagueThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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