TrueTop: A Sybil-Resilient System for User Influence Measurement on Twitter

Jinxue Zhang, Rui Zhang, Jingchao Sun, Yanchao Zhang, Chi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Influential users have great potential for accelerating information dissemination and acquisition on Twitter. How to measure the influence of Twitter users has attracted significant academic and industrial attention. Existing influence measurement techniques are vulnerable to sybil users that are thriving on Twitter. Although sybil defenses for online social networks have been extensively investigated, they commonly assume unique mappings from human-established trust relationships to online social associations and thus do not apply to Twitter where users can freely follow each other. This paper presents TrueTop, the first sybil-resilient system to measure the influence of Twitter users. TrueTop is rooted in two observations from real Twitter datasets. First, although non-sybil users may incautiously follow strangers, they tend to be more careful and selective in retweeting, replying to, and mentioning other users. Second, influential users usually get much more retweets, replies, and mentions than non-influential users. Detailed theoretical studies and synthetic simulations show that TrueTop can generate very accurate influence measurement results with strong resilience to sybil attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2834-2846
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2016


  • Influence measurement
  • Twitter
  • social networks
  • sybil resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'TrueTop: A Sybil-Resilient System for User Influence Measurement on Twitter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this