Scientists can build an early-warning system for trolls

Daniel Cooper, Engadget, Apr 23, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I am wary of any headline that tells us what 'scientists' can do. But I also think it's interesting that we can use markers to detect at the onset troll-like activity by forum participants. "researchers from Stanford and Cornell developed an early warning system for trolls. After conducting a study that examined close to 40 million comments, it was found that trolls can be algorithmically identified before they've written 10 posts." I have no doubt - none! - that others are working on this around the world, and that Stanford and Cornell are the ones focused on milking the publicity. It's useful work and I hope that those people actually making the discoveries are credited (as opposed to those with the best PR departments).

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