Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour detected on Pakistani Twitter.
Last week, 3 hashtags trended on top panel in Pak.
#1 #PakistanStandsWithShahab
#2 #IstandwithHamidMir
#3 #IstandWithAsmaShirazi
First one was propagated inorganically.
23,000 tweets were sent with #1 by 7,500 users. 11,500 tweets with #2 by 6500 users & 20,000 tweets with #3 by 10,500 users.
The network analysis reveals that tweeps engaged in propagating #1 were involved in Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour (CIB). Dense connections
along with higher %age of retweets among tweeps in #1 reflect deep online connections they had and their organised effort to propagate the # inorganically.
In case of #2 & #3 there were few individuals who sent tweets beyond normal limits but the SNA didn't reflect any organised
groups. This could be viewed in the graphs (#2 & #3) where sparsity of inter-connectedness indicates towards lack of organised campaigning. Interestingly @ShahabSpeaks himself sent more than 50 tweets to give boost to the #1.
Some interesting findings: Plz see table 👇🏽, it shows 1) users who sent hundreds of tweets but check that no one retweeted them. They had literally 0 indegree
2) No one had original dp.
3) All belonged to same online group.
It suggests that either one individual used all
of these accounts to tweet with #PakistanStandsWithShahab or main tweeps had shadow accounts.
#1 was amplified through inorganic means but later on a good number of users joined in (5000+) who supported the #1. Given the Twitter following of all three
(Shahab, @asmashirazi @HamidMirPAK ) the big guns did not get the support proportionate to their digital self. Although there were more verified accounts who tweeted with #2 & #3 but total number of users who sent 1-5 tweets with the # was almost equal for Shahab & Hamid.
CIB is illegal as per Twitter policies. Many users claim that their accounts were suspended because of tweeting on certain issues. No doubt, there are cases of such discrimination but many times accounts are suspended as they engage in CIB and propaganda/abusive hashtags.

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More from @SaeedRizvan

3 Jun
Criticising #Malala or longing for #MiaKhalifa? Men's response to #MalalaOnMarriage

A long thread containing inferences from Twitter data. 1/n
To me what Malala said about marriage can be contested on cultural and religious grounds but as an adult human being it’s her ultimate right to make choices for her personal relationship.
I collected data against trends #Malala & #MiaKhalifa 2/n
propagated since Malala’s interview. I categorized the Twitter users into 4 categories based on their comments abt Malala. The most worrisome thing was to see a reflection of sexual frustrations, rape inclination and child abuse tendencies among many young men Twitter users. 3/n
Read 22 tweets
9 Mar
Digital Gender Divide
A Thread
Digital space is expanding in Pakistan but this expansion is not gender-equal. Pakistan is among countries where gender gap is the highest regarding mobile phone ownership and mobile internet use. Pakistan Demographic Health Survey (PDHS 2018) 1/11
is a government survey that is conducted regularly to see progress in demographic areas. It has a section that captured digital divide among men and women of Pakistan. According to latest PDHS, only 12% of the surveyed women, aged 15-49, used internet during last 2/11
twelve months. While 28% men reported internet use during the same period. This disparity was higher in rural areas. In urban areas 22% of women and 40% men used internet. While in rural areas only 7% women reported use of 3/11
Read 11 tweets
13 Sep 20
A hashtag appeared on panel asking for public hangings of rapists. I did initial data comparison of people who participated in this hashtag and various other hashtags. I found that
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demanded public hangings of rapists.
2) 13% of "Travel with Mehram" advocates used abusive word "Randi" in their recent tweets while addressing some women on social media.
3) Out of users of "Randi" word in their recent tweets, 13% asked for public hangings
4) 12% users who contributed to a hashtag glorifying Khalid's act of killing a person in the court, demanded public hangings of rapists.
5) 8% users who labelled #AuratMarch2020 as Fahashi and Aurat Barbadi march, now asked for public hangings of rapists
Read 7 tweets
23 Jun 20
Twitter & Propaganda:
In Pakistan, the use of social media is on rise. However, there are contradictory views on usage-percentage of each social medium, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest. According to estimates of AlphaPro there were 35 million social media
users in Pakistan by March 2018. Out of 35 million 92% were Facebook users. Percentage of Twitter users was 0.1%. However, according to estimates of GlobalStats Stat Counter, the percentage of Twitter users in Pakistan by March 2019 was 5%. Five percent users make 1.75 million
out of 35 million active social media users. Though this number is still very low as compared to Facebook users, but the rapid growth in Twitter users is reflection of increase in Twitter popularity among Pakistani social media users.

Despite of relatively small percentage of
Read 16 tweets
5 Jun 20
سیاسی و سماجی رویے اور Cognitive Dissonance
ہم سب زندگی میں کبھی نہ کبھی Cognitive Dissonance کا شکار ہوتے ہیں۔ یہ کوئی نفسیاتی بیماری نہیں بلکہ ایک قدرتی نفسیات کا حصہ ہے۔لیکن اس کو سمجھنا بہت ضروری ہے۔ یہ ہماری فیصلہ سازی کو منفی طور پر متاثر کر سکتی ہے۔
نوٹ: تحریر تھوڑی لمبی ہے مگر سماجی نفسیات کو سمجھنے کے لئیے کارآمد ہو سکتی ہے۔

دیکھتے ہیں Cognitive Dissonance کیا ہوتی ہے؟
جب عقیدے، رویے یا برتاو آپس میں میل نہ کھاتے ہوں تو ایک ذہنی کشمکش اور بے چینی کی کیفیت پیدا ہوتی ہے۔ اس کیفیت کو Cognitive Dissonance کہا جاتا ہے۔
عقیدے سے مراد مذہبی عقیدہ نہیں۔ یہاں عقیدے سے مراد یقین ہے جو کہ کسی بھی شے کے حوالے سے ہو۔

جب ہمیں کسی شے کے بارے میں اپنی رائے اور سوچ کے خلاف برتاو کرنا پڑتا ہے تو ہمارے ذہن میں ایک کشمکش پیدا ہوتی ہے کہ ہم نے اپنی سوچ اور رائے کر برعکس عمل کیا۔اب چونکہ ہم
Read 23 tweets
17 Jan 20
Two days back a derogatory hashtag was propagated against @sanabucha. This was done by a young troll team who is struggling to capture its "share" in online marketing. Like predecessors, this team is also trying to mark their presence with propaganda hashtags. #Propaganda
Somehow Pakistani youth have found a way to earn name and money through "online marketing". The easiest & safest way is to do this is by running derogatory hashtags about someone while showing affiliation to #PTI or #Army. Over the period I have found that these troll teams
try to maintain their "identity", that's why 'the big guns' don't participate actively in a hashtag that is started by another team. If trolls are so "patriotic" or "in love with @ImranKhanPTI" they would have aggressively participated in every "hashtag". Now the question is how
Read 6 tweets

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