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Privacy-Aware and Scalable Content Dissemination in Distributed Social Networks

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Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 7032)


Centralized social networking websites raise scalability issues — due to the growing number of participants — and policy concerns — such as control, privacy and ownership of users’ data. Distributed Social Networks aim to solve those by enabling architectures where people own their data and share it whenever and to whomever they wish. However, the privacy and scalability challenges are still to be tackled. Here, we present a privacy-aware extension to Google’s PubSubHubbub protocol, using Semantic Web technologies, solving both the scalability and the privacy issues in Distributed Social Networks. We enhanced the traditional features of PubSubHubbub in order to allow content publishers to decide whom they want to share their information with, using semantic and dynamic group-based definition. We also present the application of this extension to SMOB (our Semantic Microblogging framework). Yet, our proposal is application agnostic, and can be adopted by any system requiring scalable and privacy-aware content broadcasting.


  • Semantic Web
  • Distributed Social Networks
  • Social Web
  • Privacy
  • FOAF
  • PubSubHubbub

This work is funded by Science Foundation Ireland — Grant No. SFI/08/CE/I1380 (Líon-2) — and by a Google Research Award. We would also like to thank Owen Sacco for his work on PPO and Fabrizio Orlandi for his feedback on SMOB.


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Kapanipathi, P., Anaya, J., Sheth, A., Slatkin, B., Passant, A. (2011). Privacy-Aware and Scalable Content Dissemination in Distributed Social Networks. In: , et al. The Semantic Web – ISWC 2011. ISWC 2011. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 7032. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-25092-7

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-25093-4

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