Press Coverage

  1. August, 05/08/2019
    The New York Times published an article titled “Genetic tests for ancestry ‘being hijacked by racists’” mentioning our study “And We Will Fight For Our Race!” A Measurement Study Of Genetic Testing Conversations On Reddit And 4chan”. Alexandros Mittos, Savvas Zannettou, Jeremy Blackburn, Emiliano De Cristofaro. AAAI ICWSM, 2019.
  2. August, 02/08/2019
    STAT News published an article titled “He studies jerks on the internet. His latest project: researching how they talk about genetic testing” referring our study “And We Will Fight For Our Race!” A Measurement Study Of Genetic Testing Conversations On Reddit And 4chan”. Alexandros Mittos, Savvas Zannettou, Jeremy Blackburn, Emiliano De Cristofaro. AAAI ICWSM, 2019.
  3. June, 14/06/2019
    The New York Times published an article titled “Algorithms Won’t Fix What’s Wrong With YouTube” mentioning our study “Disturbed YouTube for Kids: Characterizing and Detecting Disturbing Content on YouTube”. Kostantinos Papadamou, Antonis Papasavva, Savvas Zannettou, Jeremy Blackburn, Nicolas Kourtellis, Ilias Leontiadis, Gianluca Stringhini, Michael Sirivianos. Arxiv, 2019.
  4. March, 14/03/2019
    The Washington Post published an article titled “YouTube says it bans preteens from its site. But it’s still delivering troubling content to young children”.
    The article references our study “Disturbed YouTube for Kids: Characterizing and Detecting Disturbing Content on YouTube”. Kostantinos Papadamou, Antonis Papasavva, Savvas Zannettou, Jeremy Blackburn, Nicolas Kourtellis, Ilias Leontiadis, Gianluca Stringhini, Michael Sirivianos. Arxiv, 2019.
  5. February, 01/02/2019
    The European Commission published an article about our project: “An EU-funded project is analyzing malicious cyber activity and developing parental control tools to protect minors and to help fight fake news, other malicious content and online sexual predators. The project’s recommendations for policymakers will also help combat harmful online behavior – protecting Europeans.”.
    Read the article here: http://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/article_en.cfm?artid=45496
  6. March, 26/03/2019
    “Memes are being used as a political weapon by certain polarized communities,” says Guillermo Suárez de Tangil, a professor at King’s College London and co-author of an in-depth study of the circulation of memes from marginal communities to the Internet center. “Memes are double-edged tools, behind a caricature that may seem funny, but there may be a lot of background”, adds Suárez de Tangil.
    An article published by El Pais.
  7. March, 12/03/2019
    NewScientist published an article titled “Children can find inappropriate videos on YouTube in just 10 clicks” where they refer to our study “Disturbed YouTube for Kids: Characterizing and Detecting Disturbing Content on YouTube“.
    “Young YouTube viewers stand an alarmingly high chance of stumbling across disturbing videos. There is a 45 percent probability of them reaching inappropriate content within 10 clicks of a first, child-oriented YouTube video. “It’s shocking, and confirms what every parent experiences when their kids watch YouTube,” says Michael Sirivianos at Cyprus University of Technology.”
  8. March, 12/03/2019
    VOICES, a section of Zing.vn published an article from Konstantinos Papadamou about our study “Disturbed YouTube for Kids: Characterizing and Detecting Disturbing Content on YouTube“.
  9. January, 23/01/2019
    BleepingComputer published an article referring to our study “Disturbed YouTube for Kids: Characterizing and Detecting Disturbing Content on YouTube“.
  10. December, 18/12/18
    Publica published an article mentioning our study “What is Gab? A Bastion of Free Speech or an Alt-Right Echo Chamber?“.
  11. December, 12/12/2018
    The Conversation published an article about our research “On the Origins of Memes by Means of Fringe Web Communities“.
  12. November, 23/11/2018
    TechXplore published an article referring to our study “Who Let The Trolls Out? Towards Understanding State-Sponsored Trolls“.
  13. November, 02/11/2018
    E&T published an article with the title “Could the alt-right build its own ”˜safe space” on the Internet?” where they refer to our study “What is Gab? A Bastion of Free Speech or an Alt-Right Echo Chamber?“.
  14. October, 31/10/2018
    Bellingcat published an article titled “How the MAGAbomber and the Synagogue Shooter Were Likely Radicalized” mentioning our study “On the Origins of Memes by Means of Fringe Web Communities“.
  15. October, 29/10/2018
    “As mainstream social-media companies such as Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Reddit try to push racist commentary and hate speech off their platforms, those conversations are finding homes in other corners of the web.” an article published by The Wall Street Journal, mentioning our study “What is Gab? A Bastion of Free Speech or an Alt-Right Echo Chamber?“.
  16. October, 29/10/2018
    “Gab becomes latest focal point in battle over online hate speech”, an article published by NBC News mentioning our study “What is Gab? A Bastion of Free Speech or an Alt-Right Echo Chamber?“.
  17. October, 29/10/2018
    “Gab, the social media platform favored by the alleged Pittsburgh shooter, explained”, an article published by Vox about our study “What is Gab? A Bastion of Free Speech or an Alt-Right Echo Chamber?“.
  18. October, 27/10/2018
    In the aftermath of the Pittsburgh Synagogue attack, Wired published an article describing an emerging patter of online antisemitism that spills into the real world. The article refers to ENCASE’s and NCRI’s study of Gab.
    “Anti-Jewish sentiment is also on the rise in seedier online locales, including Gab and the message board 4Chan, both of which are already known to house hate speech and far-right conspiracy theories. The use of term “jew” and a slur for Jewish people dramatically increased on Gab and 4chan’s politically incorrect message board following political events like the 2016 presidential election, President Trump’s inauguration, and the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, according to a study conducted by the non-profit Network Contagion Research Institute that has yet to be peer-reviewed.”.
  19. October, 27/10/2018
    In light of the 27/10/18 events in Pittsburgh, it must be apparent by now that online antisemitism, alt-right radicalization and non-nonsensical conspiracy theories spill into the real world with tragic consequences.
    This NBC article refers to our study of Gab, the social network embraced by the alt-right.
  20. October, 17/10/2018
    BBC refers to our “On the Origins of Memes by Means of Fringe Web Communities” paper in the context of Twitter’s banning of 1500 accounts involved in the NPC affair. “Researchers from University College London who analysed a huge database of memes discovered the 4chan message board /pol/ and subreddit r/The_Donald were particularly effective. “We find that /pol/ substantially influences the meme ecosystem by posting a large number of memes, while r/The_Donald is the most efficient community in pushing memes to both fringe and mainstream web communities,” the study’s authors wrote.”
  21. October, 15/10/2018
    VICE mentions our research “Kek, Cucks, and God Emperor Trump: A Measurement Study of 4chan”s Politically Incorrect Forum and Its Effects on the Web” in their article titled “Ten Wild Jobs That Didn’t Exist Ten Years Ago”.
  22. September, 07/09/2018
    The Conversation published the article “Propaganda-spewing Russian trolls act differently online from regular people” highlighting our research “Disinformation Warfare: Understanding State-Sponsored Trolls on Twitter and Their Influence on the Web”. ArXiv, 2018.
    Subsequently, US News redistributed this article.
  23. September, 06/09/2018
    Washington Post published an article about our study “A Quantitative Approach to Understanding Online Antisemitism”.
    This paper focuses on the emerging problem of online antisemitism. By analyzing over 100M posts from 4chan”s Politically Incorrect board (/pol/) and Gab, we show that the use of ethnic racial slurs, and in particular antisemitic terms, are getting worrying traction on these communities. For instance, we show a substantial rise on the use of racial ethnic terms after Trump”s Inauguration. Also, we show that there is an explosion of coded language for racial slurs and we propose a method to decode racial discourse on fringe Web communities. Finally, we study the dissemination of the Happy Merchant meme, a racist meme showing a caricature of a Jew, finding that /pol/ is an influential actor because of the large volume of generated Happy Merchant memes, while The_Donald subreddit is the most efficient actor in pushing these memes in the mainstream world (i.e., Twitter and rest of Reddit). 

  24. September, 05/09/2018
    The Houston Chronicle published the article “How to tell a Russian troll from a regular person” highlighting our research “Disinformation Warfare: Understanding State-Sponsored Trolls on Twitter and Their Influence on the Web”. Savvas Zannettou, Tristan Caulfield, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Michael Sirivianos, Gianluca Stringhini and Jeremy Blackburn. ArXiv, 2018“.
    Read more here: www.houstonchronicle.com
  25. July, 23/07/2018
    Our research “What is Gab? A Bastion of Free Speech or an Alt-Right Echo Chamber?” was mentioned by WIRED.
    “Out of the top ten Gab users (by follower count) identified in an academic paper published in March 2018, only three of them have posted in the last month. The same study found that 43 per cent of users on the platform aren’t following a single user.”
  26. July, 09/07/2018
    “Twitter”s vast metadata haul is a privacy nightmare for users. “Metadata is much larger when compared to the actual content of a tweet”, says Savvas Zannettou, a PhD student at the Cyprus University of Technology.”.
    An article published by WIRED.
  27. July, 03/07/2018
    “Study Reveals Misuse of Archive Services by Fringe Communities on the Web”.
    Article published by Newswise for our research “Understanding Web Archiving Services and Their (Mis)Use on Social Media”. Savvas Zannettou, Jeremy Blackburn, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Michael Sirivianos, Gianluca Stringhini. ICWSM 2018.
  28. June, 04/06/2018
    “Finally, a scientific list of the most popular memes on the internet. The group, from Cyprus University of Technology, University College London, University of Alabama at Birmingham and King”s College London, set out to make «the first attempt to provide a multiplatform measurement of the meme ecosystem, with a focus on fringe and potentially dangerous communities».”
    Articles published by QUARTZ, Business InsiderNerdcore, MIT Technology Review, VICE, InfoWars, Dailydot, Indy100, Thinkprogress, Iflscience, Hornet for our research “On the Origins of Memes by Means of Fringe Web Communities”. Savvas Zannettou, Tristan Caulfield, Jeremy Blackburn, Emiliano De Cristofaro, Michael Sirivianos, Gianluca Stringhini, and Guillermo Suarez-Tangil. ArXiv, 2018.
  29. April, 05/04/2018
    “A recent study from a cross-university team of researchers analyzed 22 million posts from 336,000 Gab users, ranging from August of 2016 until January of 2018. They found that the site “exhibits a high volume of hate speech and racism”, “reacts strongly to events related white nationalism and Donald Trump”, and concluded that “while Gab claims to be all about free speech, this seems to be merely a shield behind which its Alt-right users hide”. ”
    An article by Vice reporting on our paper: Gab Is the Alt-Right Social Network Racists Are Moving to.
  30. February, 22/01/2018
    “Savvas Zannettou from the Cyprus University of Technology and his colleagues set up an account on Gab, then cross-checked posts against terms in Hatebase, a database used by governments and non-governmental organisations to track the spread of hate speech. One in every 20 posts the researchers analysed included words in the Hatebase corpus ”“ 2.4 times the rate on Twitter. However, hate-filled posts on Gab were only half as common as on 4chan”s /pol/ message board, a notorious home of internet trolls”.
    An article published by the New Scientist, based on our paper “What is Gab? A Bastion of Free Speech or an Alt-Right Echo Chamber?“.
  31. January, 30/01/2018
    “Researchers from Cyprus University of Technology, UCL and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, analysed 27K tweets posted by a thousand Twitter users identified as having ties with Russia’s Internet Research Agency and therefore likely state-sponsored trolls”.
    An article published by The Register.
  32. November, 01/11/2017
    The University of Alabama at Birmingham published the article “Study finds fringe communities on Reddit and 4chan have high influence on flow of alternative news to Twitter” based on our paper “The Web Centipede: Understanding How Web Communities Influence Each Other Through the Lens of Mainstream and Alternative News Sources”.
    Subsequently, Phys redistributed that article.
  33. November, 22/11/2017
    The Atlantic published an article highlighting ENCASE”s research on fringe web communities and their outsized influence over the mainstream.
    More details can be found here:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/how-much-attention-should-extremists-get/546152/
  34. July, 11/07/2017
    Hacking Distributed published the article “Twitter, Reddit and 4chan: The Web”s Fake News Centipede” based on the ENCASE’s study “The Web Centipede: Understanding How Web Communities Influence Each Other Through the Lens of Mainstream and Alternative News Sources”.
    Read more here:
    http://hackingdistributed.com/2017/07/11/web-centipede/
  35. June, 11/06/2017
    “Dr. Stringhini told Sky News that the paper, titled Keks, Cucks, and God Emperor Trump, showed that there was a limit to addressing hate speech online when occurrences were considered as isolated incidents”.
    An article published by Sky News based on ENCASE’s study “Kek, Cucks, and God Emperor Trump: A Measurement Study of 4chan”s Politically Incorrect Forum and Its Effects on the Web”.
    More information can be found here:
    http://news.sky.com/story/research-examines-fake-news-hate-speech-and-4chan-10910915?dcmp=snt-sf-twitter
  36. June, 09/06/2017
    Dr. Gianluca Stringhini from UCL was interviewed by the Nature International Weekly Journal of Science on Shining a light on the dark corners of the web.
    More information can be found here:
    http://www.nature.com/news/shining-a-light-on-the-dark-corners-of-the-web-1.22128
  37. June, 01/06/2017
    “Jeremy Blackburn, a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and one of the study”s authors, explained that 4Chan”s interaction structure (where, unlike more mainstream platforms like Facebook or Reddit, there is no like or upvote system, and the only way to gauge audience reaction is by the number of replies) encourages a constant attempt to galvanize a response by just about any means”.
    An article published by Motherboard Vice.
  38. May, 06/05/2017
    The New European covers ENCASE’s paper “Kek, Cucks, and God Emperor Trump: A Measurement Study of 4chan”s Politically Incorrect Forum and Its Effects on the Web” and interviews Jeremy Blackburn (Telefonica Research) on how forums that disseminate fake stories affect what news we see.
    More information can be found here:
    http://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/a-beginners-guide-to-4chan-the-site-you-never-knew-was-influencing-you-1-5006102?platform=hootsuite
  39. February, 28/02/2017
    Organizing summer schools is one of the most important training activities in the ENCASE project. The Social Computing Research Center (http://socialcomputing.eu) at the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), along with the ENCASE consortium organised a Summer School titled “Usable Security and Privacy in Online Social Networks”.
    The summer school took place between Monday 17th of July 2017 and Friday 21st of July 2017 in the facilities of the Cyprus University of Technology in Limassol. Cyprus local news and online media disseminated the ENCASE’s summer school.
    More information about the articles published by  Paideia News and Sigmalive can be found here:
    http://www.paideia-news.com/
    http://m.city.sigmalive.com/article/21178/therina-sholeia-pliroforikis-gia-foitites-stin-kypro
  40. November, 09/11/2016
    The Conversation is an independent, not-for-profit media outlet that uses content sourced from academic and research community. Dr Emiliano De Cristofaro, a co-author of “A Longitudinal Measurement Study of 4chan”s Politically Incorrect Forum and Its Effect on the Web”, wrote an article in Science and Technology section of The Conversation about his paper. In the article, Dr. De Cristofaro abstractly explained the various contributions of the paper. For instance finding evidence of Raids from 4chan to other Social Websites like YouTube and Twitter, that Operation Google has substantial impact on /pol/ board, and the raising of abusive language, through content analysis, from 4chan users in Youtube comment section.
    More information can be found here:
    http://theconversation.com/4chan-raids-how-one-dark-corner-of-the-internet-is-spreading-its-shadows-68394
  41. November, 08/11/2016
    La Repubblica is an Italian daily general-interest newspaper. In one of their articles, they talk about the latest presidential elections of USA and how president Trump managed to be elected. They use the paper “A Longitudinal Measurement Study of 4chan”s Politically Incorrect Forum and its Effect on the Web” as their references to show the impact of Donald Trump in social networks, and how viral he has become in the web.
    More information can be found here:
    http://m.repubblica.it/mobile/r/speciali/esteri/presidenziali-usa2016/2016/11/12/news/trump_internet_meme_virali_social_4chan-151826943/?ref=HREC1-1&refresh_ce
  42. October, 14/10/2016:
    The “Longitudional Measurement Study of 4chan”s Politically Incorrect Forum and its Effect on the Web” study caused a lot of buzz after its release. It was sharply commented and re-posted by 4chan users and other similar communities. This led to it being widely re-posted in social media.
    La Stampa,  a very high circulation Italian newspaper, has written an article about it, called “Frogs, Hatred and Pro-Trump. That is how 4chan, the belly of the internet, works”. They present 4chan as “The definitive mob of the Internet”, and the group of researchers from different international universities, as part of a European Project, as the fighters, that aim to study the manifestation of hate, understand cyber-bullying and coordinated attacks. The newspaper stated that the researchers finally shed light on how 4chan dark places work.
    More information can be found here:
    http://motherboard.vice.com/read/block-4chan-to-stop-the-alt-right-from-spreading-racist-memes-scientists-say?=dhdhd
    http://www.lastampa.it/2016/10/14/societa/rane-odio-e-protrump-cos-funziona-chan-la-pancia-di-internet-qSR7NV32eMNHYxYtWGh4tJ/pagina.html
    http://www.paideia-news.com/
  43. May, 12/05/2016:
    Dr. Emiliano De Cristofaro, Senior Lecturer in Security and Privacy (Computer Science) at UCL, published the article “On the hunt for Facebook”s army of fakes” in Bentham’s Gaze. Bentham”s Gaze is a blog written by Information Security researchers in University College London. Then, The Conversation published an article based on Dr. De Christofaro’s post.
    Both the links and more details can be found here:
    https://theconversation.com/on-the-hunt-for-facebooks-army-of-fakes-59189/
    https://benthamsgaze.org/2016/05/12/on-the-hunt-for-facebooks-army-of-fake-likes/#more-853
  44. February, 20/02/2016
    Lemesosblog published an article about the kick-off meeting of the ENCASE research project.
    Read more here:
    http://www.lemesosblog.com/tepak/
  45. February, 19/02/2016:
    Cyprus News and Paideia News, Cyprus online press published articles about the ENCASE’s kick-off meeting.
    Both the links and more details can be found here:
    http://cyprusnews.eu/deltia-typou/4107116
    http://www.paideia-news.com/
  46. February, 19/02/2016:
    Alfanews, a Cyprus newspaper, published an article about the goal of the ENCASE project under CUT’s coordination.
  47. February, 16/02/2016:
    Disrupt Cyprus, a Cyprus online press posted an article about the ENCASE’s kick-off meeting.
    More details can be found here:
    http://disruptcyprus.com/research/53-news-research/555-kickoff-meeting-of-the-encase-marie-curie-scrc-research-project
  48. February, 07/02/2016:
    “A new international distinction for the Social Computing Research Center at the Cyprus University of Technology”.
    An article from Sigmalive, about the ENCASE project under CUT’s coordination.
    Read more here:
    http://www.sigmalive.com/simerini/news/271230/diethnis-diakrisi-gia-tepak
  49. September, 28/09/2015:
    “The Social Research Informatics Centre (SCRC) (http://socialcomputing.eu/) of Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) received an excellent evaluation for a research project, concerning the protection of minors from Internet threats, called “Enhancing security and privacy in the Social web: a user-centered approach for the protection of minors (ENCASE).According to the CUT”s announcement, the project was submitted to the call under the “Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie Actions” program of HORIZON2020 and received an excellent evaluation after a long and competitive process. The project budget amounts to 2.16 mil Euros and will last four years (2016-2020). The Cypriot beneficiaries of the consortium will receive a total budget of 756K Euro.”
    An article published by the Reporter Cyprus online press.
    Read more here:
    http://www.reporter.com.cy/local-news/article/857/diethni-aristeia-sto-tepak-ga