AAAI Publications, Twelfth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media

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AbuSniff: Automatic Detection and Defenses Against Abusive Facebook Friends
Sajedul Talukder, Bogdan Carbunar

Last modified: 2018-06-15


Adversaries leverage social network friend relationships to collect sensitive data from users and target them with abuse that includes fake news, cyberbullying, malware, and propaganda. Case in point, 71 out of 80 user study participants had at least 1 Facebook friend with whom they never interact, either in Facebook or in real life, or whom they believe is likely to abuse their posted photos or status updates, or post offensive, false or malicious content. We introduce AbuSniff, a system that identifies Facebook friends perceived as strangers or abusive, and protects the user by unfriending, unfollowing, or restricting the access to information for such friends. We develop a questionnaire to detect perceived strangers and friend abuse. We introduce mutual Facebook activity features and show that they can train supervised learning algorithms to predict questionnaire responses. We have evaluated AbuSniff through several user studies with a total of 263 participants from 25 countries. After answering the questionnaire, participants agreed to unfollow and restrict abusers in 91.6% and 90.9% of the cases respectively, and sandbox or unfriend non-abusive strangers in 92.45% of the cases. Without answering the questionnaire, participants agreed to take the AbuSniff suggested action against friends predicted to be strangers or abusive, in 78.2% of the cases. AbuSniff increased the participant self-reported willingness to reject invitations from strangers and abusers, their awareness of friend abuse implications and their perceived protection from friend abuse.


Abusive and stranger Facebook friends; automatic abuse inference

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