In this project we will investigate whether normative behavior can be detected in facebook groups. In a first step we will hypothesize about possible norms that could lead to a group becoming more extreme on social media, or whether groups that become more extreme will develop certain norms that distinguish them from other groups and that could be detected. An example of such a norm could be that a (self-proclaimed) leader of a group is massively supported by retweets, likes or affirmative messages, along with evidences of verbal sanctioning toward counter-normative replies. Simulations and analyses of historical facebook data (using manual detection in specific case studies and more broadly through NLP) will help revealing the existence of normative behavior and its potential change over time.


Report describing guidelines to detect normative behavior on social media platforms


Project Partners:

  • Umeå University (UMU), Frank Dignum
  • Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), Eugenia Polizzi

Primary Contact: Frank Dignum, Umeå University

Main results of micro project:

The project delivered detailed analyses of the tweets around the USA elections and subsequent riots. Where we thought we might discover some patterns in the tweets indicating more extreme behavior, it appears that extremist expressions are quickly banned from Twitter and find a home in more niche social platforms (in this case Parler). Thus the main conclusion of this project is that we need to find the connections between users in different social media platforms in order to track any extreme behavior.

Contribution to the objectives of HumaneAI-net WPs

In order to see how individuals might contribute to behavior that is not in the interest of society we cannot analyze one social media platform. Especially more extremist expressions quickly disappear from main stream social media to niche platforms that can quickly change over time. Thus the connection between individual and societal goals is difficult to observe by just analyzing data from a single social media platform. In the other hand it is very difficult to link users between platforms.

Tangible outputs

  • Other: Identification of radical behavior in Parler groups – Frank Dignum
  • Other: Characterizing the language use of radicalized communities detected on Parler – Frank Dignum