Effectiveness of dismantling strategies on moderated vs. unmoderated online social platforms


Online social networks are the perfect test bed to better understand large-scale human behavior in interacting contexts. Although they are broadly used and studied, little is known about how their terms of service and posting rules affect the way users interact and information spreads. Acknowledging the relation between network connectivity and functionality, we compare the robustness of two different online social platforms, Twitter and Gab, with respect to dismantling strategies based on the recursive censor of users characterized by social prominence (degree) or intensity of inflammatory content (sentiment). We find that the moderated (Twitter) vs unmoderated (Gab) character of the network is not a discriminating factor for intervention effectiveness. We find, however, that more complex strategies based upon the combination of topological and content features may be effective for network dismantling. Our results provide useful indications to design better strategies for countervailing the production and dissemination of anti-social content in online social platforms.

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