Using Connected Accounts to Enhance Information Spread in Social Networks

Alon Sela*, Orit Cohen-Milo, Eugene Kagan, Moti Zwilling, Irad Ben-Gal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


In this article, a new operation mode of social bots is presented. It includes a creation of social bots in dense, highly-connected, sub structures in the network, named Spreading Groups. Spreading Groups are groups of bots and human-managed accounts that operate in social networks. They are often used to bias the natural opinion spread and to promote and over represent an agenda. These bots accounts are mixed with regular users, while repeatedly echoing their agenda, disguised as real humans who simply deliver their own personal thoughts. This mixture makes the bots more difficult to detect and more influential. We show that if these connected sub structures repeatedly echo a message within their group, such an operation mode will spread messages more efficiently compared to a random spread of unconnected bots of a similar size. In particular, groups of bots were found to be as influential as groups of similar sizes, which are constructed from the most influential users (e.g., those with the highest eigenvalue centrality) in the social network. They were also found to be twice more influential on average than groups of similar sizes of random bots.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComplex Networks and Their Applications VIII - Volume 1 Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Complex Networks and Their Applications, COMPLEX NETWORKS 2019
EditorsHocine Cherifi, Sabrina Gaito, José Fernendo Mendes, Esteban Moro, Luis Mateus Rocha
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783030366865
StatePublished - 2020
Event8th International Conference on Complex Networks and their Applications, COMPLEX NETWORKS 2019 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 10 Dec 201912 Dec 2019

Publication series

NameStudies in Computational Intelligence
Volume881 SCI
ISSN (Print)1860-949X
ISSN (Electronic)1860-9503


Conference8th International Conference on Complex Networks and their Applications, COMPLEX NETWORKS 2019


  • Bot
  • Information spread
  • Social networks
  • Spreading Groups

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