Publication Date

Spring 5-20-2020

Degree Type

Master's Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Mark Stamp

Second Advisor

Fabio Di Troia

Third Advisor

Chris Pollett

Abstract

The impact of social media on the modern world is difficult to overstate. Virtually all companies and public figures have social media accounts on popular platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. In China, the micro-blogging service provider Sina Weibo is the most popular such service. To overcome negative publicity, Weibo trolls the so called Water Army can be hired to post deceptive comments.

In recent years, troll detection and sentiment analysis have been studied, but we are not aware of any research that considers troll detection based on sentiment analysis. In this research, we focus on troll detection via sentiment analysis with other user activity data gathered on the Sina Weibo platform, where the content is mainly in Chinese. We implement techniques for Chinese sentence segmentation, word embeddings, and sentiment score calculations. We employ the resulting techniques to develop and test a sentiment analysis approach for troll detection, based on a variety of machine learning strategies. Experimental results are generated, analyzed and the troll detection model we proposed achieved 89% accuracy for the dataset presented in this research. A Chrome extension is presented that implements our proposed technique, which enables real-time troll detection and troll comments filtering when a user browses Sina Weibo tweets and comments.

Available for download on Thursday, May 20, 2021

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