AAAI Publications, Sixth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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Cross-Community Influence in Discussion Fora
Václav Belák, Samantha Lam, Conor Hayes

Last modified: 2012-05-20

Abstract


Online discussion fora have become an important cultural and business asset in the context of many services provided by both non-profit organizations and enterprises. In order to keep and eventually increase the value these systems deliver to their users, it is often necessary to moderate or even manage their dynamics. One way to do this efficiently is to focus primarily on the most influential actors in the system. However, identifying such users becomes increasingly hard with systems where there is a continuously growing large user base. We show that analysis and explanation of influence on the cross-community level is a promising way to provide a coarse-grained picture of a potentially very large system and that it may enable its stakeholders to find groups through which the system can be efficiently influenced, or it can help them to identify and avoid activity considered as malicious. In order to achieve that, we present a novel framework for cross-community influence analysis, which is evaluated on 10 years of data from the largest Irish online discussion system Boards.ie.

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