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Another “Pre-Crime” AI System Claims It Can Predict Who Will Share Disinformation Before It’s Published

Contributing Author
December 20th, 2020
Activist Post
Comments (8)

This article was originally published at Activist Post. 

We previously have covered the many weighty claims made by the progenitors of A.I. algorithms who claim that their technology can stop crime before it happens. Similar predictive A.I. is increasingly being used to stop the spread of misinformation, disinformation, and general “fake news” by analyzing trends in behavior and language used across social media.

However, as we’ve also covered, these systems have more often than not failed quite spectacularly, as many artificial intelligence experts and mathematicians have highlighted. One expert in particular — Uri Gal, Associate Professor in Business Information Systems, at the University of Sydney, Australia — noted that from what he has seen so far, these systems are “no better at telling the future than a crystal ball.”

Please keep this in mind as you look at the latest lofty pronouncements from the University of Sheffield below. Nevertheless, we should also be aware that — similar to their real-world counterparts in street-level pre-crime — these systems most likely will be rolled out across social media (if they haven’t been already) regardless, until further exposure of their inherent flaws, biases, and their own disinformation is revealed.

AI can predict Twitter users likely to spread disinformation before they do it

A new artificial-intelligence-based algorithm that can accurately predict which Twitter users will spread disinformation before they actually do it has been developed by researchers from the University of Sheffield.

  • University of Sheffield researchers have developed an artificial intelligence-based algorithm that can accurately predict (79.7 percent) which Twitter users are likely to share content from unreliable news sources before they actually do it
  • Study found that Twitter users who spread disinformation mostly tweet about politics or religion, whereas users who share reliable sources of news tweet more about their personal lives
  • Research also found that Twitter users who share disinformation use impolite language more frequently than users who share reliable news sources
  • Findings could help governments and social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook better understand user behavior and help them design more effective models for tackling the spread of disinformation

A new artificial-intelligence-based algorithm that can accurately predict which Twitter users will spread disinformation before they actually do it has been developed by researchers from the University of Sheffield.

A team of researchers, led by Yida Mu and Dr. Nikos Aletras from the University’s Department of Computer Science, has developed a method for predicting whether a social media user is likely to share content from unreliable news sources. Their findings have been published in the journal PeerJ.

The researchers analyzed over 1 million tweets from approximately 6,200 Twitter users by developing new natural language processing methods – ways to help computers process and understand huge amounts of language data. The tweets they studied were all tweets that were publicly available for anyone to see on the social media platform.

Twitter users were grouped into two categories as part of the study – those who have shared unreliable news sources and those who only share stories from reliable news sources. The data was used to train a machine-learning algorithm that can accurately predict (79.7 percent) whether a user will repost content from unreliable sources sometime in the future.

Results from the study found that Twitter users who shared stories from unreliable sources are more likely to tweet about either politics or religion and use impolite language. They often posted tweets with words such as ‘liberal’, ‘government’, ‘media’, and their tweets often related to politics in the Middle East and Islam, with their tweets often mentioning ‘Islam’ or ‘Israel’.

In contrast, the study found that Twitter users who shared stories from reliable news sources often tweeted about their personal life, such as their emotions and interactions with friends. This group of users often posted tweets with words such as ‘mood’. ‘wanna’, ‘gonna’, ‘I’ll’, ‘excited’, and ‘birthday’.

Findings from the study could help social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook develop ways to tackle the spread of disinformation online. They could also help social scientists and psychologists improve their understanding of such user behavior on a large scale.

Dr. Nikos Aletras, Lecturer in Natural Language Processing at the University of Sheffield, said:

Social media has become one of the most popular ways that people access the news, with millions of users turning to platforms such as Twitter and Facebook every day to find out about key events that are happening both at home and around the world. However, social media has become the primary platform for spreading disinformation, which is having a huge impact on society and can influence people’s judgement of what is happening in the world around them.

As part of our study, we identified certain trends in user behaviour that could help with those efforts – for example, we found that users who are most likely to share news stories from unreliable sources often tweet about politics or religion, whereas those who share stories from reliable news sources often tweeted about their personal lives.

We also found that the correlation between the use of impolite language and the spread of unreliable content can be attributed to high online political hostility.

Yida Mu, a Ph.D. student at the University of Sheffield, said:

Studying and analysing the behaviour of users sharing content from unreliable news sources can help social media platforms to prevent the spread of fake news at the user level, complementing existing fact-checking methods that work on the post or the news source level.

The study, Identifying Twitter users who repost unreliable news sources with linguistic information, is published in PeerJ. To access the paper in full, visit:


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    1. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      Obviously, people in MICIMATT are getting really paranoid, and they have every readon to be after the CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY that they have PERPETRATED in violation of RICO LAWS, and many more! Anyone who is not a brainwashed imbecille or MICIMATT fraud should include the words
      ‘mood’. ‘wanna’, ‘gonna’, ‘I’ll’, ‘excited’, and ‘birthday’,
      in every tweet ! Fuck them! Ass holes! Psychos! Government Cock Suckers and BITCHEZ! Who is going to be such a spineless God Damned Fucking wimp that they are afraid that their Twitler account will be shut down that they will stop swearing, tweeting about politics and religion, and start tweeting about their own lives just to appease the MICIMATT Ass Wipes?! Praise the Lord! Praise Jesus! Free Palestine!

      Andrea Iravani

    2. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      So AI has identified the Israeli government, Mossad and AIPAC for spreading disinformation? If their accounts remain open, we will know that this is just another excuse to stifle opposition, because those organizations tweet about politics, religion, the Middle East, Islam, and Israel with the highest frequency, but they typically do not swear, their victims do frequently swear, because they are righfully pissed off as hell, but political accounts from Islamic nations do not swear, include all of the hot button topics as well, and are frequently shut down.

      Andrea Iravani

    3. Andrea.Iravani. says:

      I’ll get excited when the MICIMATTs that have terrorized me and destroyed my life by spying, hacking, stealing, vandalizing, stalking, doing illegal, unconsented, uniniformed surgery on me, and false diagnosises, and using sonic weapons on me do not have anymore birthdays! I wanna make sure that they all know that I’m gonna expose them for the freaked out creeped out frauds and beastly monsters that they are! Obviously these individuals are all in jobs that are way beyond their means, and way above their pay grades! They are simply not cut out for any jobs that entail thinking, creativity, innovation, or leadership, because if they were capable of those skills, they would not be doing what they are doing to me. I am not the only one that suffers, but all of humanity, because retards that are too incompetent to think are running the show, and running the world into ruin! Many of them have status positions and high level degrees. Knowledge is not intelligence, which they prove on a daily basis. They are incapable of thinking and belong in manual labor, factory jobs, or telemarketing. That is the problem with the university propagandists. It is antithetical to their existences for people to be able to think, and the majority of professors and teachers are inept and mentally incompetent. Intelligence is the abitility to be able to apply knowledge, reason, draw conclusions, and solutions. They don’t like the solution, because they solution involves that they stop lying, because if they told the truth they would be thrown in prison for violating people’s constitutional rights and conspiracies violating RICO laws because they are terrorists that pose grave dangers to society. They are predators and psychopaths. Their behavior is pathological. Many have probably been secretly pardoned for their atrocities. They are nothing short of monsters! 

      Andrea Iravani 

    4. That doesn’t sound like any A.I. that I ever heard of.
      Sounds more like some Yankee Queer.

    5. dile says:

      So people who are concerned with the real world are likely to post ” ” fake ” ” news, but people who tweet about their “emotions” and interactions with friends, are reliable.

      Riiiiiiiight. Liberals are so inside out and upside down and backwards I can’t tell if they’re just taking the piss or if theyre actually serious.

    6. Darth Skippy says:

      I think, it’s a legitimate discussion, what is subjective (opinion) vs. objective (palpable reality).

      But, narcissistic personalities will never agree, as to the basic facts or to a customary level of politeness. Radicals will never agree to a baseline standard for reality, and neither will the AI.
      “Gaslighting depends on “first convincing the victim that [the victim’s] thinking is distorted and secondly persuading [the victim] that the victimizer’s ideas are the correct and true ones”. Gaslighting induces cognitive dissonance in the victim, “often quite emotionally charged cognitive dissonance”, and makes the victim question their own thinking, perception, and reality testing, and thereby tends to evoke in them low self-esteem and disturbing ideas and affects, and may facilitate development of confusion, anxiety, depression, and in some extreme cases, even psychosis. After the victim loses confidence in their mental capacities and develops a sense of learned helplessness, they become more susceptible to the victimizer’s control. Victims tend to be people with less power and authority.”

      Speaking of learned helplessness, what does most online discussion empower you to do, palpably, objectively. Did you gain any useful leverage from the discussion.

      I would like to have a quiet and productive year.

      I can guarantee you, that while you are still processing (reality checking) the next troll, he will have made 10 or 20 more topposts and went on with his life, victoriously. We are still stuck on processing people, not entitled to an opinion.

    7. Anonymous says:

      “This group of users often posted tweets with words such as ‘mood’. ‘wanna’, ‘gonna’, ‘I’ll’, ‘excited’, and ‘birthday’.”

      I got a good laugh out of that one. That’s just like those stunted-development adult children, and their adult-preschool style info-graphics. The permanent lower caste of the future is going to be comprised of such babies, their critical thinking faculties forever crippled by childhood traumas induced by state-funded educational facilities.

    8. Darth Skippy says:

      After sleeping on it, I blame the machine for spreading disinfo and accusing other people. As an adversarial presence, at the scene of every thought crime, it has the motive and opportunity.

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