Privacy Leakages about Political Beliefs through Analysis of Twitter Followers

Briola, Helen ; Drosatos, George ; Stamatelatos, Giorgos ; Gyftopoulos, Sotirios ; Efraimidis, Pavlos S. (2018-11)


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.

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