Details currently standing out -
Methodology for identifying cross sub linking and classification as Neutral vs Negative had a significantly larger number of Neutral classified links that negative.
Negative posts are done by a small minority of subs, with a pretty skewed tail.
Attacks require a high level of similarity between the attacker and defender for an attack to occur. (e.g., r/conspiracy vs. r/worldnews, or r/mensrights vs. r/againstmensrights)
Just to highlight what I consider a constant risk of any research in this area, I am considering simple ways to use this research to benefit an attacker.
In another reading of this, I should be able to figure out which subs are most suitable to fight against each other and instigate that fight.
Or to figure out how to ensure a fight wins and a sub dies out.
Figure 8 a is conducive - it suggests that attackers should ensure that they out co-ordinate and demotivate defenders, its the surest way to get them to move out of the sub and take it over.
This in turn suggests that attackers need to scour the web carefully to find innocuous sentences or interpersonal exchanges which would look terrible to an outgroup member - this will allow for more ganging up and antagonism/emotional anger to push a point and isolate the defending members.
I bet most eve online players also realize that time zones would play hugely to the attackers advantage.
Perhaps subreddits for some communities should shut down at night, or at the times known attackers are most active?
Its a nice article, And I think the focus on colonization during attackers while interesting, is likely not as interesting as the evidence of colonization during neutral linking events.
Can that be used to build a healthy meta cross linking of groups that allows for an improved flow of information between groups? Access to cross group experience and expertise ?
Incidentally this map looks like a great way to identify subs which are about to get a ban.
A bunch of scientists in 2014 discovers that there are flame wars on the Internet. Where were they in 1993? They are only 21 years late to the party.