UI computer science student wins best paper at international conference

UI computer science student wins best paper at international conference

A study on fake “likes” on Facebook by a third-year graduate student from the University of Iowa’s Department of Computer Science was named Best Paper at the  2017 Internet Measurement Conference in London.

Graduate student Sherhoze Farooqi conducted the research on internet collusion networks with his advisor, Zubair Shafiq, assistant professor of computer science. Their research uncovered a web of shadowy businesses that subverted Facebook security measures to provide fake “likes” to posts created by co-conspirators. Reputation manipulation, or the use of fake likes to boost trust on a social platform, is prohibited by Facebook, which tries to shut down such activities. 

As part of their study, Farooqi and Shafiq contacted Facebook officials and warned them about the security breech. Facebook heeded their warning, and earlier this year changed its infrastructure in order to counter collusion networks and stop reputation manipulation, or fake “likes.” Farooqi received the research award in November during the annual Internet Measurement Conference.