What are Cyber Social Threats

The role of online platforms as a prime, daily communication tool is coincident with a sharp rise in its misuse, threatening our society in large. These platforms have been implicated for promoting hate speech, radicalization, harassment, cyberbullying, fake news, human trafficking, drug dealing, gender-based stereotyping, and violence among other ills, with a significant impact on individual and community well-being. Given the rise in political conflicts and public health/climate concerns in recent years, information integrity during crises will be of particular interest for CySoc 2023. Such content and behaviors are inherently multi-faceted, making the recognition of their narratives challenging for researchers as well as social media companies. The implications to individuals and communities require reliable models and algorithms for detecting, understanding, and countering the malevolent behavior in such communications. These challenges have led to a rising prominence of analysis of online communications in academia, politics, homeland security, and industry using computational techniques from natural language processing, statistics, network science, data mining, machine learning, computational linguistics, human-computer interaction, and cognitive science. To meet these challenges, this workshop aims to stimulate research on social, cultural, emotional, communicative, and linguistic aspects of harmful conversations on online platforms and developing novel approaches to analyze, interpret, and understand them.

The workshop welcomes papers that employ quantitative and/or qualitative, analytical, theoretical approaches examining a diverse range of issues related to online harmful communications. Papers on resources/data and tools will also be welcome either for demos or for short/regular talks.

Special Issue with EPJ Data Science

This year we are excited to announce that authors of selected papers will be invited to include an extended version of their paper in a Special Issue of EPJ Data Science!

Note: Per the rules outlined by the Web Conference, presenters of accepted papers will be required to attend the conference in person, whereas some keynote/panel speakers may present virtually. A Zoom link will be provided later so that those interested in the workshop can attend virtually.

Why attend the CySoc Workshop?

This workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners in computer and social sciences from both academia and industry to exchange ideas on understanding the multi-faceted aspects of harmful content while leading the discussion on building novel computational methods to reliably detect, derive meaning of, interpret, understand and counter them. The participants will find opportunities to present and hear about other fundamental research and emerging applications, to exchange ideas and experiences, and to identify new opportunities for collaborations across disciplines. The researchers and practitioners from various disciplines are strongly encouraged to attend, including (but not limited to) behavioral science, computer and information sciences, psychology, sociology, political science, cognitive science, cultural study, information systems, terrorism and counter-terrorism, operations research, communication, medicine, and public health.

Special Issue with EPJ Data Science

Authors of selected papers will be invited to include an extended version of their paper in a Special Issue of EPJ Data Science.

Themes & Topics

We are interested in both computing and social science approaches that study the above research directions, based on quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods. We expect to receive submissions and lead discussions on the topics of novel analytic methods, tools, and datasets.

Spotlight topic

Parallel to the main themes, this year, we will have a spotlight topicinformation integrity during crises — due to its relevance and urgency.


The CySoc workshop has three main themes:

  • Detection and prediction of content, users, and communities
  • Countering harmful narratives
  • Ethical considerations and handling bias


Topics for research and discussions on challenges in dealing with online harmful content include (but not limited to):

  • Spotlight topic: Information integrity during crises
  • Online extremism
  • Harassment and cyberbullying
  • Hate speech
  • Gender-based violence
  • Human trafficking
  • Illicit drug trafficking
  • Mental health implications of social media
  • Ethical considerations on privacy-preserving social media analytics
  • Emotional and psychological support
  • Trust relationship and community dynamics
  • Relationship of the social web and mainstream news media
  • Cultural implications of social web usage
  • Influencer identification and community detection for movements
  • Misinformation and disinformation (e.g., epidemics of fake news, images and videos, during a disaster, health issues and elections)

Important Dates

Paper submissions due: February 6, 2023 February 17, 2023 (Anywhere on Earth)
Final decision notification: March 6, 2023
Camera-ready submissions due: March 20, 2023 March 15, 2023

Submission Instructions

Submissions should not exceed 12 pages in length (maximum 8 pages for the main paper content + maximum 2 pages for appendixes + maximum 2 pages for references). Submissions must be original and should not have been published previously or be under consideration for publication while being evaluated for this workshop. Submissions will be evaluated by the program committee based on the quality of the work and its fit to the workshop themes.

All submissions should be double-blind and a high-resolution PDF of the paper should be uploaded to the EasyChair submission site before the paper submission deadline. The accepted papers will be presented at the CySoc workshop integrated with the conference, and they will be published as Proceedings of the The Web Conference. Authors of selected papers will be invited to include an extended version of their paper in a Special Issue of EPJ Data Science. Papers must be submitted in PDF format according to the ACM template published in the ACM guidelines, selecting the generic “sigconf” sample. The PDF files must have all non-standard fonts embedded. Workshop papers must be self-contained and in English.

Workshop Program

All times below are in Central Daylight Time

Zoom link

8.30 - 8.45 AM - Welcome the CySoc 2023 workshop attendees.
8.45 - 9.45 AM - Keynote I: Zakir Durumeric, Stanford University.

Tracking the Spread of Misinformation Across the Web
While a significant amount of research has shed light on how inauthentic news and misinformation spreads on social media platforms like Twitter that historically provided API access to researchers, we've seen inauthentic narratives increasingly spread on alternative platforms, messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp, niche forums, and on the broader web. In this talk, I will discuss how technologists can provide visibility into the spread of information online on the broader Internet. I will present some of the recent work that my research group at Stanford University has been doing on using large language models to track news narratives online, patterns we see in where news narratives are originating, and opportunities where I think that we can partner with and enable other researchers and civil society organizations.

9.45 - 10.30 AM - Paper Session I: Four papers. One lightning (5 min. no Q/A) + three full (12 min. including Q/A).
  • Le Nguyen and Nidhi Rastogi: Graph-based Approach for Studying Spread of Radical Online Sentiment (lightning)
  • Ahmad Diab, Bolor-Erdene Jagdagdorj, Lynnette Hui Xian Ng, Yu-Ru Lin and Michael Yoder: Online to Offline Crossover of White Supremacist Propaganda
  • Billy Spann and Nitin Agarwal: Evaluating the Emergence of Collective Identity using Socio-Computational Techniques
  • Samar Haider, Luca Luceri, Ashok Deb, Adam Badawy, Nanyun Peng and Emilio Ferrara: Detecting Social Media Manipulation in Low-Resource Languages
10.30 - 10.50 AM - Coffee Break.
10.50 - 12.00 PM - Panel Discussion: Information Integrity During Crises. 12.00 - 12.30 PM - Paper Session II: Three papers. One lightning (5 min. no Q/A) + two full (12 min. including Q/A).
  • Zain Halloush, Ahmed Aleroud and Craig Albert: Socio-Emotional Computational Analysis of Propaganda Campaigns on Social Media Users in the Middle East (lightning)
  • Pulak Mehta, Gauri Jagatap, Kevin Gallagher, Brian Timmerman, Progga Deb, Siddharth Garg, Rachel Greenstadt and Brendon Dolan-Gavitt: Can Deepfakes be created on a whim?
  • Jinkyung Park, Joshua Gracie, Ashwaq Alsoubai, Gianluca Stringhini, Vivek Singh and Pamela Wisniewski: Towards Automated Detection of Risky Images Share by Youth on Social Media
12.30 - 1.30 PM - Lunch Break.
1.30 - 2.00 PM - Paper Session III: Two full papers (12 min. including Q/A).
  • Zhen Guo, Pei Wang, Jin-Hee Cho and Lifu Huang: Text Mining-based Social-Psychological Vulnerability Analysis of Potential Victims To Cybergrooming: Insights and Lessons Learned
  • Xiao Ling, David Yan, Bilal Alsallakh, Ashutosh Pandey, Manan Bakshi and Pamela Bhattacharya: Learned Temporal Aggregations for Fraud Classification on E-Commerce Platforms
2.00 - 3.00 PM - Keynote II: Fabrício Benevenuto, Federal University of Minas Gerais.

Deploying Real Systems to Counter Misinformation in Brazil
The political debate and electoral dispute in the online space during the 2018 Brazilian elections marked the beginning of a major information war in Brazil. This war has become part of our daily lives and one of the most challenging problems in our society. In order to mitigate the problem, we created the project “Elections without Fake” and we deployed technological solutions capable of monitoring and exposing the actions of different political campaigns in the online space. Examples of systems include: a monitor for advertisements on Facebook and monitors for public groups, focused on political discussion, on WhatsApp and Telegram. Our systems have proven to be fundamental for fact-checking, for investigative journalism, becoming a partner of the Superior Electoral Court as part of the national front to combat misinformation. This talk summarizes a few lessons learned from the deployment of these systems and points to future directions for combating misinformation.

3.00 PM - 3.50 PM - Demo presentations: Two demos will be presented with 25 minutes allocated for each, including Q/A.
3.50 - 4.50 PM - Paper Session IV: Five papers. One lightning (5 min. no Q/A) + four full (12 min. including Q/A).
  • Manuel Pratelli, Marinella Petrocchi, Fabio Saracco and Rocco De Nicola: Swinging in the States: Does disinformation on Twitter mirror the US presidential election system? (lightning)
  • Valerio La Gatta, Chiyu Wei, Luca Luceri, Francesco Pierri and Emilio Ferrara: Retrieving false claims on Twitter during the Russia-Ukraine conflict
  • Jason Niu and A. Erdem Sariyüce: On Cohesively Polarized Communities in Signed Networks
  • Tugrulcan Elmas: Analyzing Activity and Suspension Patterns of Twitter Bots Attacking Turkish Twitter Trends by a Longitudinal Dataset
  • Pantelitsa Leonidou, Nicolas Kourtellis, Nikos Salamanos and Michael Sirivianos: Privacy-Preserving Online Content Moderation: A Federated Learning Use Case
4.50 - Closing: Wrap up.
Note: Per the rules outlined by the Web Conference, presenters of accepted papers will be required to attend the conference in person, whereas some keynote/panel speakers may present virtually. A Zoom link will be provided later so that those interested in the workshop can attend virtually.


Please check the the conference site directly for registration details.


Ugur Kursuncu

Georgia State University GA, USA
Contact Email

Kaicheng Yang

Indiana University, IN, USA
Contact Email

Francesco Pierri

Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
Contact Email

Matthew DeVerna

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
Contact Email

Yelena Mejova

ISI Foundation, Turin, Italy
Contact Email

Jeremy Blackburn

State University of New York at Binghamton, NY, USA
Contact Email

Steering Committee

Program Committee