Recently, research interest has been growing in the development of online communities sharing news and information curated by “citizen reporters”. Using “Big Data” techniques researchers try to discover influence groups and major events in the lives of such communities. However, the big picture may sometimes miss important stories that are essential to the development and evolution of online communities. In particular, how does one identify and verify events when the important actors are operating anonymously and without sufficient news coverage, as in drug war-torn Mexico? In this paper, we present some techniques that allow us to make sense of the data collected, identify important dates of significant events therein, and direct our limited resources to discover hidden stories that, in our case, affect the lives and safety of prominent citizen reporters. In particular, we describe how focused analysis enabled us to discover an important story in the life of this community involving the reputation of an anonymous leader, and how trust was built in order to verify the validity of that story.
Metaxas, Panagiotis and Mustafaraj, Eni (2013). "The Rise and the Fall of a Citizen Reporter." To be presented at WebSci13, May 2-4, 2013, Paris, France.