Who is Fake? Discover Astroturfing or Attempts of Fake Influence!

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Data mining is used more and more by communication professionals to measure brand position or the so-called “public opinion”. The more common those measurements are the more likely are attempts to skew the measurement. Those efforts are often called “astroturfing” and might lead to wrong decisions by businesses and politicians. The objective of this talk is to show ways to detect those attempts of fake influence.

The talk will introduce methods such as “social reaction curves” or “network topologies” which can be used to analyze the public discussion in online and offline media. Those measurements can help to distinguish between fake and real attempts of influence. Examples of attempts to influence will be shown ranging from the woman2drive campaign in Saudi Arabia to the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

In a special case study about the London 2012 Olympics, Lutz Finger and Prof. Soumitra Dutta will show which sport, which athlete or which media type were dominating the 2012 Olympics. They will show that traditional ways of doing media analytics might be misleading marketers and sponsors.

As outlook the speaker will discuss recent advancements in automated communications algorithms such as chat bots or facebook bots. Those are becoming more sophisticated and thus harder to spot.

Photo of Lutz Finger

Lutz Finger


Lutz Finger, a director at LinkedIn, is an authority on social media and text analytics. He’s also co-founder and former CEO of Fisheye Analytics, a media data-mining company whose products support governments and various NGOs, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Olympic Committee, which was acquired by the WPP group.

Lutz is a highly regarded technology executive who built a sales center for Dell Europe as well as an incubator for mobile applications at Ericsson. He is a popular public speaker on business analytics and serves as an advisor and board member at several data-centric corporations in Europe and the US. He has an MBA from INSEAD as well as an MS in quantum physics from TU Berlin (Germany).


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