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Mike Preuss
Research Associate at ERCIS, University of Muenster, Germany

Title: PropStop: Detecting Propaganda in Social Media, a Multidisciplinary Perspective

AbstractSocial Media has become an important source of information and means of virtual social interaction that nowadays encompasses more than a third of the world's population and is still growing. Recently, we have seen several election campaigns with a surprising outcome (Brexit, US election) and have started to wonder if and how social bots and organized troll action have been involved in Propaganda and opinion manipulation. Even Facebook now acknowledges so-called "information operations". During the last 2 years, the PropStop project has detected and investigated several occurrences of such operations, e.g. in the last weeks before the German general elections of September 2017. We report on the detected incidents and envision how the situation will evolve in the near future.

Short bioMike Preuss is Research Associate at ERCIS, University of Muenster, Germany. Previously, he was with the Chair of Algorithm Engineering at TU Dortmund, Germany, where he received his PhD in 2013. His research interests focus on the field of evolutionary algorithms for real-valued problems, namely on multimodal and multiobjective optimization, and on computational intelligence methods for computer games, especially in procedural content generation (PGC) and realtime strategy games (RTS).
He is also interested in applying the game AI techniques to engineering problems, e.g., chemical retrosynthesis. Since 2016, he is involved in the PropStop project that deals with the detection of Propaganda on social media.
He is associate editor of the IEEE ToG (Transactions on Games) and advisory board member of Springer's Natural Computing book series and has been member of the organizational team of several conferences in the last years, in various functions, as general co-chair, proceedings chair, competition chair, workshops chair, notably also as PC co-chair for CIG 2018.