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Challenges of Growing Social Media Networks From the Bottom-up Through the Agent Perspective

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conference contribution
posted on 24.02.2021, 20:23 authored by Joseph ShaheenJoseph Shaheen
We develop an agent-based model in order to understand agent/node behaviors that generate social media
networks. We use simple rules to synthetically generate a backcloth (friend/follow) network collected using
Twitter’s API. The Twitter network was collected using seeds for known terrorist propaganda accounts
in 2015. Model parameter adjustments were made to reproduce the collected network’s summary statistics,
stylized facts and general structural measures. We produced an approximate network in line with the general
properties of our collected data. We present our findings with a focus on the challenging aspects of this
reproduction. We find that while it is possible to generate a social media network utilizing a few simple
rules, numerous challenges arise requiring departure from the agent viewpoint and the development of more
useful methods. We present numerous weaknesses and challenges in our reproduction and propose potential
solutions for future efforts.


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