"You Know What to Do": Proactive Detection of YouTube Videos Targeted by Coordinated Hate Attacks

by   Enrico Mariconti, et al.

Over the years, the Web has shrunk the world, allowing individuals to share viewpoints with many more people than they are able to in real life. At the same time, however, it has also enabled anti-social and toxic behavior to occur at an unprecedented scale. Video sharing platforms like YouTube receive uploads from millions of users, covering a wide variety of topics and allowing others to comment and interact in response. Unfortunately, these communities are periodically plagued with aggression and hate attacks. In particular, recent work has showed how these attacks often take place as a result of "raids," i.e., organized efforts coordinated by ad-hoc mobs from third-party communities. Despite the increasing relevance of this phenomenon, online services often lack effective countermeasures to mitigate it. Unlike well-studied problems like spam and phishing, coordinated aggressive behavior both targets and is perpetrated by humans, making defense mechanisms that look for automated activity unsuitable. Therefore, the de-facto solution is to reactively rely on user reports and human reviews. In this paper, we propose an automated solution to identify videos that are likely to be targeted by coordinated harassers. First, we characterize and model YouTube videos along several axes (metadata, audio transcripts, thumbnails) based on a ground truth dataset of raid victims. Then, we use an ensemble of classifiers to determine the likelihood that a video will be raided with high accuracy (AUC up to 94 paves the way for providing video platforms like YouTube with proactive systems to detect and mitigate coordinated hate attacks.


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