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. Recent scientific advances in large foundation artificial intelligence (AI) models including large language models, large visual models, and generative AI, may serve to either exacerbate or mitigate these challenges. As a result, the use and misuse of generative AI will be of particular interest for CySoc 2024. This technology, as well as the aforementioned 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.

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.

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 topic: The use and misuse of generative artificial intelligence.


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: The use and misuse of generative artificial intelligence
  • 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: March 24, 2024 April 2, 2024
Final decision notification: April 14, 2024 April 26, 2024
Camera-ready submissions due: May 3, 2024 May 5, 2024

Submission Instructions

This year CySoc will consider for acceptance research, position, short, and demo paper submissions.

Please reference the ICWSM 2024 Submission Guidelines for all information.

As per the AAAI-ICWSM guidelines: All papers must be submitted as high-resolution PDF files, formatted in AAAI two-column, camera-ready style, for US Letter (8.5" x 11") paper. Full papers are recommended to be 8 pages long and must be at most 11 pages long, including only the main text and the references. The mandatory Ethics Checklist (and brief additional Ethics Statement, if desired, see below), optional appendices, etc., do not count toward the page limit and should be placed after the references. Appendices, if they exist, should be placed after the Ethics Checklist. Revision papers and final camera-ready full papers can be up to 12 pages. Dataset papers must be no longer than 10 pages, Poster papers must be no longer than 4 pages, and Demo descriptions must be no longer than 2 pages. No source files (Word or LaTeX) are required at the time of submission for review; only the PDF file is permitted. Finally, the copyright slug may be omitted in the initial submission phase, and no copyright form is required until a paper is accepted for publication.

Anonymity: The review is double-blind. Therefore, please anonymize your submission: do not put the author names or affiliations at the start of the paper, and do not include funding or other acknowledgments in papers submitted for review.

Papers should be submitted via EasyChair.org

Workshop Program

More information will be provided soon.

All times below are Eastern

🙏 08.30 - 08.45 AM | Welcome the CySoc 2024 workshop attendees.
🎤 08.45 - 09.45 AM | Keynote I: Reza Zafarani, Syracuse University.

Fake news detection: Limited Ground Truth, Limited Text, No Understanding of Spreading Intent
"Fake news" is now viewed as one of the greatest threats to democracies and journalism. Massive spread of fake news has weakened public trust in governments and its potential impact on various political outcomes such as the Brexit is yet to be realized. We will briefly review fake news detection techniques, along with some of the current challenges that these methods face. We will discuss some recent advancements to tackle these challenges, particularly focusing on multi- modal fake news analysis and assessing the intent of fake news spreaders.

📄 09.45 - 10.30 AM | Paper Session I (Strategies and Patterns of Digital Deception): Three papers will be presented, 15 minutes each, including Q&A.
  • Large Language Models Reveal Information Operation Goals, Tactics, and Narrative Frames. Keith Burghardt, Kai Chen, Kristina Lerman. DOI: 10.36190/2024.11.
  • Blended Bots: Infiltration through Identity Deception on Social Media. Samantha C. Phillips, Lynnette Hui Xian Ng, Kathleen M. Carley. DOI: 10.36190/2024.09.
  • Detecting and Characterizing Inorganic User Engagement on YouTube. Oluwaseyi Adeliyi, Ishmam Solaiman, Shadi Shajari, Ugochukwu Onyepunuka, Nitin Agarwal. DOI: 10.36190/2024.01.
☕️ 10.30 - 10.50 AM | Coffee Break.
👥 10.50 - 12.00 PM | Panel Discussion: The Use and Misuse of Generative AI.
📄 12.00 - 12.45 PM | Paper Session II (Tools and Evaluations): Four short papers will be presented, 10 minutes each, including Q/A.
  • An Integrated Platform for Online Abuse Research. Mohammed Aldeen, Pranav Silimkhan, Ethan Anderson, Taran Kavuru, Tsu-Yao Chang, Jin Ma, Feng Luo, Hongxin Hu, Long Cheng. DOI: 10.36190/2024.10.
  • Toxic Synergy Between Hate Speech and Fake News Exposure. Munjung Kim, Tugrulcan Elmas, Filippo Menczer. DOI: 10.36190/2024.04.
  • Evaluating Content Moderation on Google Search: Data Voids and Warning Banners. Ronald Robertson, Evan Williams, Kathleen Carley, David Thiel, Renee DiResta, Jeff Hancock.
  • Are Large Language Models Good at Detecting Propaganda? Julia Jose, Rachel Greenstadt. DOI: 10.36190/2024.06.
🥪 12.45 - 02.00 PM | Lunch Break.
🎤 02.00 - 03.00 PM | Keynote II: Munmun De Choudhury, Georgia Tech.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Unpacking the Impact of Cyber Social Threats on Mental Health
As social media platforms continue to provide enriching, candid spaces for discourse on multi-faceted topics, they also increasingly surface a range of social threats to users. Pervasive exposure to such threats not only jeopardizes adequate platform functioning and safety, but also risks exacerbating stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, highlighting a critical area of concern in today's society. However, significant gaps remain in our understanding of the full extent and mechanisms by which these cyber threats impact mental health. In this talk, I will present empirical evidence and lessons learned from large-scale causal investigations on quantifying and understanding the nature of this relationship. Through a series of interlinked studies that have harnessed rich, longitudinal social media data alongside social science theory, I will situate how online harassment, hate speech, and misinformation are associated with increased reports of emotional distress and psychological trauma in individuals and communities. The talk will underscore the urgent need for robust and comprehensive solutions to mitigate the harmful effects of such cyber social threats. By collaborating with mental health professionals, policymakers, and the victims of these threats, the talk will conclude with calls to action to imagine and develop targeted interventions that can effectively safeguard mental well-being in today's rapidly evolving digital age.

📄 03.00 - 03.45 PM | Paper Session III (Social Media Dynamics and Alternative Platforms): Three full papers will be presented, 15 minutes each, including Q/A.
  • Auditing Exposure Bias on Social Media for a Healthier Online Discourse. Nathan Bartley, Keith Burghardt, Kristina Lerman. DOI: 10.36190/2024.12.
  • A Dataset of Podcasts from Rumble Spanning 2020 to 2023. Utkucan Balci, Jay Patel, Berkan Balci, Jeremy Blackburn. DOI: 10.36190/2024.07.
  • A Data-Driven Analysis of Sovereign Citizens Movement on Telegram. Satrio Yudhoatmojo, Utkucan Balci, Jeremy Blackburn. DOI: 10.36190/2024.08.
💻 03.45 - 04.35 PM | Demo presentations: Two presentations, 25m each, including Q&A.
  • Philip Mai: Polidashboard, an open-source project to track Meta’s political ads with a focus on detecting harmful ones; Anatolij Gruzd: ConflictMisinfo, a research portal for analysts and researchers to study online misinformation about the Russia-Ukraine war. (in person)
  • Indira Sen: Large Language Models for Social Science (interactive with participants; virtual).
📄 04.35 - 05.20 PM | Paper Session IV (Understanding and Mitigating Toxic Content Online): Three full papers will be presented, 15 minutes each, including Q/A.
  • Hater Is Not the Only Source of Toxic Communication Online, But Also Fan. Akira Matsui, Taichi Murayama, Mitsuo Yoshida. DOI: 10.36190/2024.03.
  • Tad: Generalized Transformer-Based Domain-Aware Hate Speech Detection. Ruijie Xi, Jiaqing Yuan, Munindar P. Singh. DOI: 10.36190/2024.05.
  • SEIQR: An Epidemiological Model to Contain the Spread of Toxicity using Memory-Index. Emmanuel Addai, Niloofar Yousefi, Nitin Agarwal. DOI: 10.36190/2024.02.
🙇 05.20 - 05.30 PM | Closing Remarks.


Please check the conference site directly for registration details.


Ugur Kursuncu

Georgia State University GA, USA
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Kaicheng Yang

Northeastern University, MA, USA
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Francesco Pierri

Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy
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Matthew DeVerna

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
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Yelena Mejova

ISI Foundation, Turin, Italy
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Jeremy Blackburn

State University of New York at Binghamton, NY, USA
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Steering Committee

Program Committee