Graph Visualizes Thousands of Tweets about Apple and #NoBackDoor
Graph Visualizes Thousands of Tweets about Apple and #NoBackDoor


by Karen Grava
Director of Media Relations


A recent study titled ForYOO (Form Your Own Opinion) by researchers from UNH and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) visualizes comments by thousands of Twitter users discussing Apple’s decision to fight the government’s request to break into the phone of the accused San Bernardino terrorists.

The visualization maps individual tweets using the hashtag #nobackdoor and allows users to click to see what the tweet said and where it was retweeted. It also shows how a tweet traveled and how the users are connected. The graph is updated automatically every hour.


A screenshot of a portion of the visualization map

This collaborative effort included teams of information science researchers at UALR and the UNH Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group (UNHcFREG). The UNH team consisted of Ibrahim Baggili, the Elder Family Endowed Chair and co-director of UNHcFREG, and Frank Breitinger, co-director of UNHcFREG. The UALR team included doctoral student Samer Al-khateeb and Nitin Agarwal, the Jerry L. Maulden-Entergy Endowed Chair Professor of Information Science.

“This graph documents how people are communicating with each other about the topic,” Baggili said. “We did this because we wanted to make it easy for people to navigate through opinions on this important, timely topic.”

Baggili and Breitinger are collaborating with the UALR information science team to combine cyber forensics techniques developed at UNH with social network analysis techniques developed at UALR.

UNHcFREG studies ways to track and extract digital evidence on criminals through digital evidence extracted from computers, phones, programs, applications, clouds and networks and is building the digital forensics Artifact Genome Project. UNHcFREG research in the past demonstrated security weaknesses in mobile social-messaging applications that affect more than one billion people worldwide.

At UALR, Al-khateeb works with Agarwal U.S. Office of Naval Research-funded projects that are analyzing the role of social media in propaganda dissemination in conflict-riddled regions of the world (including members of ISIS, Russia and Western Europe).

“Together, we can bridge the gap between cyber security and cyber forensics and leverage social network analysis to catch criminals,” Baggili said.

View the visualization maps or read more about the project and the collaboration.


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