Armin Stein

Information Warfare in the Financial Domain: Problems and a few Solutions

Tuesday, 4. May 2021 - 12:00 to 13:00, Online (Zoom)

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Stefano Cresci, Institute of Informatics and Telematics (IIT) National Research Council (CNR), Pisa, Italy

Title: Information Warfare in the Financial Domain: Problems and a few Solutions

Abstract: Disinformation and manipulation campaigns are frequently carried out on social media with the aim to mislead and to influence online crowds. In order to be successful, each campaign must spread to and “infect” a large number of users. This often mandates large coordinated efforts, as well as the use of bot and troll armies, for the campaign to obtain significant outreach, to exert influence, and to have an impact.

So far, scholars mainly focused on disinformation about political and societal events. However, finance is emerging as an additional domain significantly affected by disinformation and online manipulation. In this talk we will discuss recent work in disinformation and online social media manipulation within the financial domain. Specifically, we will analyze several manipulation tactics targeting low-value stocks and cryptocurrencies and we will discuss possible computational solutions to contrast them. Findings from the financial domain will also be discussed in the broader context on online information warfare and manipulation.

Bio: Stefano Cresci is a Researcher at the Institute of Informatics and Telematics (IIT) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR). His scientific interests broadly lay at the intersection of Data Science and Web Science, with a particular focus on the fight against disinformation, fake content (fake news) and fake online profiles (social bots and trolls). His research also encompasses the "social sensing" paradigm that Stefano investigates with the goal of exploiting the multitude of data shared online for improving our response to emergency situations such as natural and man-made disasters.

Stefano published more than 60 peer-reviewed articles on these topics, as well as a Springer book on Information Warfare. He is consistently involved in national and European research projects, he gives keynotes at international conferences and his results attract significant media coverage, both in Italy and abroad. Based on his scientific results, Stefano won a SAGE Grant, the IEEE Computer Society Italy Section Chapter 2018 PhD Thesis Award, the 2019 IEEE Next-Generation Data Scientist Award and the prestigious 2020 ERCIM Cor Baayen Young Researcher Award.