Computational Model Library

Displaying 3 of 3 results misinformation clear

How do bots influence beliefs on social media? Why do beliefs propagated by social bots spread far and wide, yet does their direct influence appear to be limited?

This model extends Axelrod’s model for the dissemination of culture (1997), with a social bot agent–an agent who only sends information and cannot be influenced themselves. The basic network is a ring network with N agents connected to k nearest neighbors. The agents have a cultural profile with F features and Q traits per feature. When two agents interact, the sending agent sends the trait of a randomly chosen feature to the receiving agent, who adopts this trait with a probability equal to their similarity. To this network, we add a bot agents who is given a unique trait on the first feature and is connected to a proportion of the agents in the model equal to ‘bot-connectedness’. At each timestep, the bot is chosen to spread one of its traits to its neighbors with a probility equal to ‘bot-activity’.

The main finding in this model is that, generally, bot activity and bot connectedness are both negatively related to the success of the bot in spreading its unique message, in equilibrium. The mechanism is that very active and well connected bots quickly influence their direct contacts, who then grow too dissimilar from the bot’s indirect contacts to quickly, preventing indirect influence. A less active and less connected bot leaves more space for indirect influence to occur, and is therefore more successful in the long run.

An agent-based framework to simulate the diffusion process of a piece of misinformation according to the SBFC model in which the fake news and its debunking compete in a social network. Considering new classes of agents, this model is closer to reality and proposed different strategies how to mitigate and control misinformation.

Information Spread

Aaron Beck | Published Thursday, December 02, 2021

Our model shows how disinformation spreads on a random network of individuals. The network is weighted and directed. We are looking at how different factors affect how fast, or how many people get “infected” with the misinformation. One of the main factors that we were curious about was perceived trustworthiness. This is because we want to see if people of power, or a high degree of perceived trustworthiness, were able to push misinformation to more people and convert more people to believe the information.

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