Social media is a constant stream of data.
That data is constantly being updated, but is there a way to protect yourself from it?
Is it safe to share your personal information online, or is it unsafe to post?
A new paper by scientists at the University of Cambridge and the University College London finds that there are some simple strategies that can be used to keep social media safe.
The researchers say that the data can be analyzed to identify patterns of information sharing, to understand how individuals communicate with each other, and to improve security.
The paper was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
In an earlier paper, the researchers used machine learning to identify the most common patterns of sharing, and then to predict how that sharing will change with time.
Using that approach, they were able to identify how quickly social media can spread misinformation.
The team’s findings also show that it is easy to track patterns of social media use.
“The social media is constantly changing and we need to be aware of what is going on,” said co-author Dr. Adam Lee, from the University’s Department of Computing and Computer Science.
“We can detect these patterns in real time and make recommendations to protect our users from the spread of misinformation.”
The research team developed a software program called Rumble to monitor social media activity for new or previously shared posts and other content, which then automatically generates a report.
Using the software, they can identify patterns in sharing, such as when posts and comments are posted on a particular topic or subject, or when posts get removed, or how frequently posts are posted.
They can then use this information to identify people who are sharing misinformation or who are spreading false information about an upcoming event.
“What we found was that the information can be tracked across a large number of different types of social networks and social media,” said Lee.
“If you were to create a prediction model, and you could track every single social network on Earth and then take that prediction and predict how many people would share misinformation on Facebook, the prediction would be very accurate.
But it’s not accurate if you were trying to predict the spread over time of misinformation spread.
So, the software has some useful features.”
The researchers also found that social media users who share misinformation tend to share it less frequently.
The study found that the spread rates of misinformation are significantly lower when the misinformation is shared more frequently than when it is shared less frequently than it should be.
They say this may be because misinformation spreads more easily if it is not reported and if people do not take the time to read the content and research it.
“One of the reasons why social media was such a valuable tool for information war was because people could easily find out who was spreading misinformation,” said Dr. Daniela Gomes, from Cambridge’s School of Information Technology.
These kinds of insights help to understand why people are sharing more misinformation in the first place.”