May 25, 2024

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US uses math tool to map fake news in elections;  understand

US uses math tool to map fake news in elections; understand

The project uses Neo4j’s database and graph technology analysis to connect and analyze large amounts of data

American University uses mapping technology to map Internet ads about Trump and Biden

Photo: Poder360

oh Institute for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship (IDJC) from Syracuse University to usYou are using Map systemIt uses mathematics to identify and map disinformation campaigns that have the potential to influence the outcome of voters in a country that goes to the polls in November 2024.

The program aims to provide research grants of US$ 250,000 over a one-year period American elections. Neo4jⓇ, a world leader in graph databases and analytics, has licensed the company to use its graph database platform.

The partnership is part of the launch of the IDJC ElectionGraph project, which identifies the origins of disinformation campaigns based on social media ad spending, initially focusing on Facebook and Instagram.

The project utilizes Neo4j’s database and graph technology analytics, allowing researchers to rapidly connect and analyze large volumes of linked data.

IDJC publishes reports of its research findings and insights to the public throughout the year, along with an interactive dashboard to help journalists investigate disinformation campaigns influencing US elections.

“The challenge facing digital researchers and computational journalists in unraveling the effects of AI-driven misinformation on democracy is enormous. Mapping technology is indispensable to those seeking to discover hidden patterns and networks from those seeking to manipulate democratic populations,” explains Jim Webber, Chief Scientist at Neo4j.

Preliminary results

The first report in a series on how social media ads mentioning Biden or Trump are shaping the 2024 election information landscape has been published.

The document analyzes paid ads on Facebook and Instagram between September 1, 2023 and February 29, 2024 that mentioned presidential candidates Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

Check out the key results found in the monitoring so far:

  • Conservative groups spend the most on ads: The group Liberty Defender was named the group that spent the most on ads (over $1.3 million) and is not affiliated with any political organization, but its ads have a pro-Trump alignment;
  • The second largest spending group, with more than $1 million, was AFP Action, or Americans for Prosperity, a conservative organization that supported Nikki Haley, a Republican and former presidential candidate;
  • More than 24,000 ads were purchased by more than 1,800 groups, with a total value of US$15.3 million. Organizations that have run advertisements from well-known organizations such as political action groups, political party groups or other candidates;
  • Pro-Biden ads use the title “President,” not Trump, and vice versa: The ads show how specific groups use the title “President” differently to opponents;
  • Groups that said “President Biden” and “Donald Trump” were pro-Biden – and groups that said “President Trump” and “Joe Biden” were pro-Trump;
  • The number of ads targeting Biden outnumber those attacking Trump: Although Biden was mentioned seven times more often than Trump in general ads on Facebook and Instagram, the current US president was mentioned in the majority of ads targeting attacks (47%) compared to “attacking”. Ads mentioning Trump (37%).

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