Contrast Agent2019-2020

To get a clearer view of the organs and other structures inside the human body, doctors will often have patients ingest a “contrast agent” before taking medical images like MRIs and X-rays. Using the digital equivalent of a contrast agent, the team will develop a methodology and toolkit for the large-scale study of “inauthentic activity” on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. They will create a comprehensive view of the industry behind the development and deployment of bots, fake accounts, sock puppets and click farms. How prevalent are these accounts? What forms of content do they promote? Do they exhibit common patterns of behavior? Can these observations lead to an automated detection system – a diagnostic test for this infection of inauthentic activity?

The Team