Privacy Leakages about Political Beliefs through Analysis of Twitter Followers

Abstract

In this paper, we focus on privacy leakages about Twitter users and show that simply establishing follower and friend connections in the Twitter network might be enough to reveal sensitive information about the political beliefs of a user. More precisely, we create a Twitter dataset containing the twitter nodes of Greek news media and politicians, as well as their followers and present two approaches to predict the political beliefs of a Twitter user and the politicians the user will potentially follow. The intuition behind both approaches is the saying “Show me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are”. In the first approach, the politicians followed by the followers of the user are shown to be correlated to the politicians that the user follows. In the second one, the media that the user follows are used to predict the politicians that the user follows. The experimental results of both approaches confirm our claims and show that significant privacy leakages are possible.

Supplementary Material

Download Dataset

This dataset contains 7,607,768 edges and 1,316,054 users. Of those users, 764,399 follow at least one politician.

There are 227 NOIs (56 news media and 171 politicians), although only 166 of the politicians have connections with users.

Twitter snapshot as of May 2018.

Citation

@inproceedings{Briola:2018,
author = {Briola, Helen and Drosatos, George and Stamatelatos, Giorgos and Gyftopoulos, Sotirios and Efraimidis, Pavlos S.},
title = {Privacy Leakages about Political Beliefs through Analysis of Twitter Followers},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 22nd Pan-Hellenic Conference on Informatics (PCI 2018)},
year = {2018},
isbn = {978-1-4503-6610-6/18/11},
location = {Athens, Greece},
pages = {1–6},
numpages = {6},
doi = {10.1145/3291533.3291557},
publisher = {ACM},
address = {New York, NY, USA},
keywords = {Social network analysis, Privacy leakages, Political beliefs, Twitter followers}
}

BibTeX

@inproceedings{Briola:2018,
 author = {Briola, Helen and Drosatos, George and Stamatelatos, Giorgos and Gyftopoulos, Sotirios and Efraimidis, Pavlos S.},
 title = {Privacy Leakages about Political Beliefs through Analysis of Twitter Followers},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the 22nd Pan-Hellenic Conference on Informatics (PCI 2018)},
 year = {2018},
 isbn = {978-1-4503-6610-6/18/11},
 location = {Athens, Greece},
 pages = {1--6},
 numpages = {6},
 doi = {10.1145/3291533.3291557},
 publisher = {ACM},
 address = {New York, NY, USA},
 keywords = {Social network analysis, Privacy leakages, Political beliefs, Twitter followers}
}