Tracking activity on social networks now possible with new research

The social networks on the internet are constantly growing. BTH researcher Fredrik Erlandsson has now developed methods that enable human interaction to be traced and to systematically retrieve information from social networks.

In his research, Fredrik Erlandsson has come up with a method that is effective and accurate in terms of mapping interactions on social networks. The method is to build a network of the different interactions between people to see who communicate with each other.

In his studies, Fredrik Erlandsson has collected 280 million public posts from Facebook. It includes 35 billion likes and five billion comments from 700 million users. The amount of data is the largest collection of data from Facebook.

Although Fredrik Erlandsson has not focused on applications in his research, it is easy to distinguish several different application areas for the methods.

– For example, they can be used to find politically and religiously radicalized individuals or groups, or to study how fake news is spread, he says.

But the methods can also be used in completely different areas he believes.

– I have been contacted by doctors who say they are interested in testing if my methods can be used to improve accuracy when analyzing x-rays of the brain to detect MS.

In his research, Fredrik has also studied another important aspect – namely the major risks that personal integrity can easily be eliminated when people put up a lot of data about themselves on social media, especially in public groups.

18 January 2018

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