From Traits to Threats – Identification of Personality Traits for Individuals at Risk of Radicalisation on Social Media

This Thesis contributes by proposing a method for identifying users believed to be at risk of radicalisation on social media, by utilising the social media networks of already radicalised individuals and a set of indicators derived from related work on radicalisation. In addition, this Thesis provides a new to the field, in-depth analysis of the personality traits of Twitter users at risk of radicalisation and how they may differ from ordinary users. The results show that the proposed data collection and annotation scheme is able to successfully identify individuals at risk of radicalisation, yielding an inter-annotator agreement, measured by Cohen’s Kappa, of 0.83. The analysis of the predicted personality traits shows that users at risk of radicalisation have common profiles for agreeableness and conscientiousness. When comparing the predicted traits to that of ordinary, non-radical Twitter users, the predictions show a marginal difference in distribution for agreeableness, openness, and conscientiousness, indicating a certain difference in personality between the two domains.

Tags: Radicalisation, Social Media, Twitter