The following paper was recently shared by the authors on arXiv.
University of California at San Diego
Censorship in social media has been well studied and provides insight into how governments stifle freedom of expression online. Comparatively less (or no) attention has been paid to censorship in traditional media (e.g., news) using social media as a bellweather. We present a novel unsupervised approach that views social media as a sensor to detect censorship in news media wherein statistically significant differences between information published in the news media and the correlated information published in social media are automatically identified as candidate censored events. We develop a hypothesis testing framework to identify and evaluate censored clusters of keywords, and a new near-linear-time algorithm (called GraphDPD) to identify the highest scoring clusters as indicators of censorship. We outline extensive experiments on semi-synthetic data as well as real datasets (with Twitter and local news media) from Mexico and Venezuela, highlighting the capability to accurately detect real-world censorship events.
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