Signals Revealing Street Gang Members on Twitter

TitleSignals Revealing Street Gang Members on Twitter
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLakshika Balasuriya, Sanjaya Wijeratne, Derek Doran, Amit Sheth
Conference NameWorkshop on Computational Approaches to Social Modeling (ChASM 2016) co-located with 8th International Conference on Social Informatics (SocInfo 2016)
Date Published11
Conference LocationBellevue, WA, USA

We study the problem of automatically finding gang member profiles on Twitter. We outline a process to curate one of the largest sets of verifiable gang member profiles that has ever been studied. A review of these profiles establishes differences in the language, images, YouTube links, and emoji features gang members use compared to the rest of the Twitter population. We generate word embeddings that translate these features into a real vector format amenable for machine learning classification and use them to train a series of supervised classifiers. Our classifiers achieve promising F1 scores with low false positive rates.