Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Detecting Opportunities to Moderate the Social Media Debate with Adiabatic Quantum Computing: A COVID-19 Case

Version 1 : Received: 28 March 2021 / Approved: 30 March 2021 / Online: 30 March 2021 (09:57:38 CEST)

How to cite: Bernabe-Moreno, J. Detecting Opportunities to Moderate the Social Media Debate with Adiabatic Quantum Computing: A COVID-19 Case. Preprints 2021, 2021030721 Bernabe-Moreno, J. Detecting Opportunities to Moderate the Social Media Debate with Adiabatic Quantum Computing: A COVID-19 Case. Preprints 2021, 2021030721

Abstract

Social media has become the most influential battleground for political and societal debate. The reach, the speed, and the fact that everybody can participate make this medium very popular but also highly manipulative, subject to biases and extremely precious to control. Misinformation spreads in an unforeseeable way. Sometimes it just follows usual non-malicious social interaction patterns, but often a targeted and designed-for-purpose manner. In this paper, we propose a novel method to identify the most effective opportunities to moderate the social media debate at a large scale using the properties of social signed graphs, such as structural balance. After building the topic universe for a particular political debate in a given time frame, we extract the most active and influential users and mine their position regarding the topic based on their interactions with other users. The result is a signed graph where each edge represents either support or challenge between a pair of users in the context of the topic. This graph can be modelled as an Ising model, with the goal of minimizing its energy state by using the advantages of Adiabatic Quantum Computing. Applying this principle, we use a Quantum Annealing implementation to solve the problem of finding the edges violating the structural balance of this graph, which in classic computing is known to be an NP-hard problem. We then provide a non-intrusive moderation technique for those violations to mitigate or increase the structural imbalance, depending on the desired strategy. The methodology is shown in the context of the COVID-19 skeptics’ debate in Twitter and implemented using a D-Wave 2000Q-6 quantum annealer.

Keywords

Quantum Annealing; Social Media Networks; Polarity Disambiguation; Structural Imbalance; COVID-19; Quantum Computing; Non-intrusive moderation

Subject

MATHEMATICS & COMPUTER SCIENCE, Algebra & Number Theory

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