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Linguistic markers of a radicalized mind-set among extreme adopters
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Systems. (Security)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Systems. (Security)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6553-4319
2017 (English)In: Proc. 10th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, New York: ACM Press, 2017, p. 823-824Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The words that we use when communicating in social media can reveal how we relate to ourselves and to others. For instance, within many online communities, the degree of adaptation to a community-specific jargon can serve as a marker of identification with the community. In this paper we single out a group of so called extreme adopters of community-specific jargon from the whole group of users of a Swedish discussion forum devoted to the topics immigration and integration. The forum is characterized by a certain xenophobic jargon, and we hypothesize that extreme adopters of this jargon also exhibit certain linguistic features that we view as markers of a radicalized mind-set. We use a Swedish translation of LIWC (linguistic inquiry word count) and find that the group of extreme adopters differs significantly from the whole group of forum users regarding six out of seven linguistic markers of a radicalized mind-set.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: ACM Press, 2017. p. 823-824
National Category
Computer Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-379919DOI: 10.1145/3018661.3022760ISBN: 978-1-4503-4675-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-379919DiVA, id: diva2:1298031
Conference
WSDM 2017, 1st International Workshop on Cyber Deviance Detection
Available from: 2017-02-02 Created: 2019-03-21 Last updated: 2019-04-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Techniques for analyzing digital environments from a security perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Techniques for analyzing digital environments from a security perspective
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The development of the Internet and social media has exploded in the last couple of years. Digital environments such as social media and discussion forums provide an effective method of communication and are used by various groups in our societies.  For example, violent extremist groups use social media platforms for recruiting, training, and communicating with their followers, supporters, and donors. Analyzing social media is an important task for law enforcement agencies in order to detect activity and individuals that might pose a threat towards the security of the society.

In this thesis, a set of different technologies that can be used to analyze digital environments from a security perspective are presented. Due to the nature of the problems that are studied, the research is interdisciplinary, and knowledge from terrorism research, psychology, and computer science are required. The research is divided into three different themes. Each theme summarizes the research that has been done in a specific area.

The first theme focuses on analyzing digital environments and phenomena. The theme consists of three different studies. The first study is about the possibilities to detect propaganda from the Islamic State on Twitter.  The second study focuses on identifying references to a narrative containing xenophobic and conspiratorial stereotypes in alternative immigration critic media. In the third study, we have defined a set of linguistic features that we view as markers of a radicalization.

A group consists of a set of individuals, and in some cases, individuals might be a threat towards the security of the society.  The second theme focuses on the risk assessment of individuals based on their written communication. We use different technologies including machine learning to experiment the possibilities to detect potential lone offenders.  Our risk assessment approach is implemented in the tool PRAT (Profile Risk Assessment Tool).

Internet users have the ability to use different aliases when they communicate since it offers a degree of anonymity. In the third theme, we present a set of techniques that can be used to identify users with multiple aliases. Our research focuses on solving two different problems: author identification and alias matching. The technologies that we use are based on the idea that each author has a fairly unique writing style and that we can construct a writeprint that represents the author. In a similar manner,  we also use information about when a user communicates to create a timeprint. By combining the writeprint and the timeprint, we can obtain a set of powerful features that can be used to identify users with multiple aliases.

To ensure that the technologies can be used in real scenarios, we have implemented and tested the techniques on data from social media. Several of the results are promising, but more studies are needed to determine how well they work in reality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2019. p. 64
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1786
Keywords
digital communities, machine learning, text analysis, linguistic features, linguistic analysis, warning behaviors, Internet, social media, extremism, terrorism, psychological state, author identification, alias matching
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-379605 (URN)978-91-513-0605-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-05-17, Room 2446, ITC, Lägerhyddsvägen 2, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-04-24 Created: 2019-03-22 Last updated: 2019-06-18

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