Current Issue

Volume 27, Number 12 - 5 December 2022
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This month: December 2022
Twitter spam and false accounts prevalence, detection, and characterization: A survey
The issue of quantifying and characterizing various forms of social media manipulation and abuse has been at the forefront of the computational social science research community for over a decade. This provides a survey of research efforts aimed at estimating the prevalence of spam and false accounts on Twitter, as well as characterizing their use, activity, and behavior. A taxonomy of spam and false accounts, enumerating known techniques used to create and detect them, is proposed. A set of recommendations, aimed at charting the path forward to combat these problems, is also advanced.
Great Wall
Also this month
Dreading big brother or dreading big profit? Privacy concerns toward the state and companies in China
States and companies around the world have intensified their collection of personal information. China’s information state and its digital economy are particularly industrious data collectors. The resulting extensive exposure of Chinese citizens’ personal information could reasonably provoke privacy concerns. To date, the relative distribution of concerns toward government and companies, as well as the structural and ideological roots of privacy concerns in China are not yet well understood. Concerns over personal information being combined in a big data scenario have not yet been examined in China. Drawing on an original online survey from 2019 (N = 1,500), representative of the Chinese online population, this study reveals that concerns about data collection by government are low, albeit modestly elevated among individuals who are ideologically not aligned with the state. By contrast, concerns over data collection by companies are both extensive and consensual across key socio-structural and ideological divides. Surprisingly, the combination of government and commercially collected personal information does not multiply concerns. Thus, the Chinese authoritarian information state is perceived as a safety device for, rather than a threat to, citizens’ personal information. Extensive state interventions in the digital economy converge with broadly shared popular concerns about corporate information privacy practices.