A user modeling pipeline for studying polarized political events in social media

Roberto Napoli, Ali Mert Ertugrul, Alessandro Bozzon*, Marco Brambilla

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a user modeling pipeline to analyze discussions and opinions shared on social media regarding polarized political events (e.g., public polls). The pipeline follows a four-step methodology. First, social media posts and users metadata are crawled. Second, a filtering mechanism is applied to filter spammers and bot users. As a third step, demographics information is extracted out of the valid users, namely gender, age, ethnicity and location information. Finally, the political polarity of the users with respect to the analyzed event is predicted. In the scope of this work, our proposed pipeline is applied to two referendum scenarios (independence of Catalonia in Spain and autonomy of Lombardy in Italy) in order to assess the performance of the approach with respect to the capability of collecting correct insights on the demographics of social media users and of predicting the poll results based on the opinions shared by the users. Experiments show that the method was effective in predicting the political trends for the Catalonia case, but not for the Lombardy case. Among the various motivations for this, we noticed that in general Twitter was more representative of the users opposing the referendum than the ones in favor.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Trends in Web Engineering - ICWE 2018 International Workshops, MATWEP, EnWot, KD-WEB, WEOD, TourismKG, 2018, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsCesare Pautasso, Kari Systä, Juan Manuel Murillo Rodriguez, Fernando Sanchez-Figueroa
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9783030030551
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event18th International Conference on Web Engineering, ICWE 2018 - Caceres, Spain
Duration: 5 Jun 20188 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11153 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference18th International Conference on Web Engineering, ICWE 2018

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


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