Skip to main content

FriendsFarmer : An Analysis on Link Farming in Twitter


Introduction

Twitter has become the most used social network for discovering real - time information on the Web - be it related to music, celebrities, news or anything else and hence twitter search is becoming more and more common. Since Twitter has increased rapidly, and now has over 330 million users, it has become a target for link farming. 
Link Farming on Twitter is users trying to get large number of followers so that it increases the ranking of their tweets. Search engines rank users by follower-rank and Pagerank to decide whose tweets it will return in the search results. A higher in-degree (number of followers) means a better rank. Hence the motivation of a link farmer is to increase its in-degree since following-back is considered a social etiquette. 
In this project we aim to analyse how a link farmer actually works on twitter and how it impacts their influence on the Web. We also made a web-app using which users can authorize their profile and use our scripts to get followers. 

Methodology

  • We used an already active account(@gureks) which had around 37 following and 27 followers when we started this project. We used Twython Twitter API to extract the tweets this account had already used. Hence using these hashtags we found people of similar interests i.e. people who had also used these hashtags. 
  • We then followed all these users and also followed their followers. This gave us a dataset of around 1500 users to follow. We followed them all but hit a roadblock. Most of these accounts were celebrity accounts, had a high in-degree to out-degree ratio or were inactive accounts and hence we didn't get much follow-backs. Hence we had to filter out some of the accounts by checking in-degree to out-degree ration and the activity of the accounts for the past 6 months. If activity was zero for that duration we defined it as inactive. 
  • We got a filtered dataset of about 800 users. The remaining 1500-800 = 700 users were unfollowed. In the meantime we had received 15 follow-backs. We followed followers of these 15 users which were around 250. When we followed these, we started getting many follow-backs and it increased exponentially. 


Analysis and Results

We followed a total of 1800 users and gained 500 followers over a period of 15 days. Atleast 80% of our followers had an in-out degree ratio ranging from 0.5 - 1.5, which is a characteristic of a perfect link farmer. We also found that most of the link farmers are verified and highly active users that use link farming to increase their social capital and influence. 



 
Following are some graphs we made : 
Followers to Following ratio graph. 

A CDF graph showing that 80% of followers had in-out degree ratio ranging from 0.5-1.5



Poster Presentation



Our Team with our professor Mr. Ponnurangam. 

Our Poster 



Our Team


The Team (From left to Right): Atul Mathur, Hemant Rattey, Gurek Singh, Kartik Mathur.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

White or Blue, the Whale gets its Vengeance: A Social Media Analysis of the Blue Whale Challenge

The Blue Whale Challenge - a set of tasks that must be completed in a duration of 50 days - is an online social media rage. The tasks of the “game” cause both physical and mental harm to the players; the final task is to take his/her own life. The tasks include waking up at odd hours, listening to psychedelic music, watching scary videos, inflicting cuts and wounds on their bodies and the final task is to commit suicide. The game is supposedly administered by people called “curators” who incite others to take the challenge, brainwash them to cause self harm and ultimately commit suicide. Most conversations between curators and players are suspected to take place via direct message but, in order to find curators, the players need a public platform where they can express their desire to play the game - knowingly or unknowingly. Online social media serves as this platform as people post about not just their desire to be a part of the game but also details and pictures of the various task…

Identifying Tinder Profiles on Facebook

Identifying Tinder Profiles on Facebook
In the online world, everything that you ever put is linked and connected. You might think that you’ve put some information on one platform and that’s it, you’re good to go. But you, my friend, are sadly mistaken. With this thought in mind and the privacy concerns linked with Online Social Media, we would like to introduce you to our problem statement: Identifying Facebook Profiles from Tinder Profiles. Given a tinder profile, our aim is to identify the corresponding Facebook profile of that person. We are addressing the linkability issue here and trying to highlight how more information than what you’ve mentioned on Tinder can be picked up from your Facebook profile. For those who don’t know, Tinder is a Dating Platform available for a Mobile Application and a Web App. It shows the geographically close profiles around you and you have an option to right swipe(Like) or left swipe(Dislike) them. When two people right swipe each other then it’s a m…

BuyOut : Look for an account Buying it's Success

Introduction
In recent years, social media has become increasingly popular as a business and communication tool. One of the newest social media tools is Instagram, created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. Instagram is an application and a service that allows users to capture and share images and videos with followers, either publicly, or privately to pre-approved followers. Officially launched in October 2010, Instagram gained 1 million users within its first two months, and the app had 700 million active monthly users by April 2017. Instagram has further grown into one of the most popular online social networks, with almost 90% of its user base under the age of 35, which is much lower than other OSNs. This makes Instagram unique and provides a higher level of engagement in the user base as previous research has shown the higher technology adoption amongst younger people and their use of social media.


Businesses are recognizing the importance of social media as a way to engage with co…