May 25, 2022

Article: Online Deception in Social Media

The following article was co-authored by two Library and Information Science faculty members at the University of Kentucky.



Michail Tsikerdekis
University of Kentucky

Sherali Zeadally
University of Kentucky


U. of Kentucky Digital Repository

Published version appears in Communications of the ACM, v. 57, no. 9, p. 72-80.


The explosive growth of social media applications has revolutionized the way we interact with one another. However, the emergence and use of this online environment has also created new opportunities for deception. We present a brief comparison between traditional (i.e., offline) deception and online deception with a focus on social media. Furthermore, we explore some of the factors that can affect the difficulty in achieving deception in social media and we use a deception model to classify different online deception techniques. We also discuss the ease of deployment and success of these techniques. Finally, we highlight some challenges that social media designers must address in the future to protect social media users from online deception.

Direct to Full Text  (17 pages; PDF)

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Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.