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Between Overload and Indifference: Detection of Fake Accounts and Social Bots by Community Managers

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 12021)

Abstract

In addition to the increased opportunities for citizens to participate in society, participative online journalistic platforms offer opportunities for the dissemination of online propaganda through fake accounts and social bots. Community managers are expected to separate real expressions of opinion from manipulated statements through fake accounts and social bots. However, little is known about the criteria by which managers make the distinction between “real” and “fake” users. The present study addresses this gap with a series of expert interviews. The results show that community managers have widespread experience with fake accounts, but they have difficulty assessing the degree of automation. The criteria by which an account is classified as “fake” can be described along a micro-meso-macro structure, whereby recourse to indicators at the macro level is barely widespread, but is instead partly stereotyped, where impression-forming processes at the micro and meso levels predominate. We discuss the results with a view to possible long-term consequences for collective participation.

Keywords

  • Online journalism
  • Community management
  • Moderation
  • Fake accounts
  • Social bots

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Fig. 1.

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Correspondence to Svenja Boberg .

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Boberg, S., Frischlich, L., Schatto-Eckrodt, T., Wintterlin, F., Quandt, T. (2020). Between Overload and Indifference: Detection of Fake Accounts and Social Bots by Community Managers. In: Grimme, C., Preuss, M., Takes, F., Waldherr, A. (eds) Disinformation in Open Online Media. MISDOOM 2019. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12021. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-39627-5_2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-39627-5_2

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