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Trust and Manipulation in Social Networks

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  • Manuel Förster

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Ana Mauleon

    () (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, CEREC - Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles)

  • Vincent Vannetelbosch

    () (CORE - Center of Operation Research and Econometrics [Louvain] - UCL - Université Catholique de Louvain, CEREC - Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles)

Abstract

We investigate the role of manipulation in a model of opinion formation where agents have opinions about some common question of interest. Agents repeatedly communicate with their neighbors in the social network, can exert some effort to manipulate the trust of others, and update their opinions taking weighted averages of neighbors' opinions. The incentives to manipulate are given by the agents' preferences. We show that manipulation can modify the trust structure and lead to a connected society, and thus, make the society reaching a consensus. Manipulation fosters opinion leadership, but the manipulated agent may even gain influence on the long-run opinions. In sufficiently homophilic societies, manipulation accelerates (slows down) convergence if it decreases (increases) homophily. Finally, we investigate the tension between information aggregation and spread of misinformation. We find that if the ability of the manipulating agent is weak and the agents underselling (overselling) their information gain (lose) overall influence, then manipulation reduces misinformation and agents converge jointly to more accurate opinions about some underlying true state.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel Förster & Ana Mauleon & Vincent Vannetelbosch, 2013. "Trust and Manipulation in Social Networks," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00881145, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00881145
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00881145
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Buechel, Berno & Hellmann, Tim & Klößner, Stefan, 2015. "Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 240-257.
    2. Caulier, Jean-François & Mauleon, Ana & Vannetelbosch, Vincent, 2015. "Allocation rules for coalitional network games," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 80-88.
    3. Förster, Manuel & Mauleon, Ana & Vannetelbosch, Vincent J., 2016. "Trust and manipulation in social networks," Network Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 216-243, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Förster, Manuel & Mauleon, Ana & Vannetelbosch, Vincent J., 2016. "Trust and manipulation in social networks," Network Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 216-243, June.
    2. VARDAR, N. Baris, 2013. "Imperfect resource substitution and optimal transition to clean technologies," CORE Discussion Papers 2013072, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    3. Buechel, Berno & Hellmann, Tim & Klößner, Stefan, 2015. "Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 240-257.
    4. François Maniquet & Massimo Morelli, 2015. "Approval quorums dominate participation quorums," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 45(1), pages 1-27, June.
    5. Jean J. Gabszewicz & Skerdilajda Zanaj, 2015. "(Un)stable vertical collusive agreements," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 48(3), pages 924-939, August.
    6. PAPAVASILIOU, Anthony & HE, Yi & SVOBODA, Alva, 2013. "Self-commitment of combined cycle units under electricity price uncertainty," CORE Discussion Papers 2013051, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    7. Cristina Pardo-Garcia & Jose Sempere-Monerris, 2015. "Equilibrium mergers in a composite good industry with efficiencies," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 101-127, March.
    8. WOLSEY, Laurence & YAMAN , Hand & ,, 2013. "Continuous knapsack sets with divisible capacities," CORE Discussion Papers 2013063, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    9. Paul Belleflamme & Paul Bloch, 2013. "Dynamic Protection of Innovations through Patents and Trade Secrets," CESifo Working Paper Series 4486, CESifo Group Munich.
    10. RUSSO, Federica & MOUCHART, Michel & WUNSCH, Guillaume, 2013. "Confounding and control in a multivariate system. An issue in causal attribution," CORE Discussion Papers 2013068, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    11. LAMAS, ALEJANDRO & CHEVALIER, Philippe, 2013. "Jumping the hurdles for collaboration: fairness in operations pooling in the absence of transfer payments," CORE Discussion Papers 2013073, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    12. Ana Mauleon & Elena Molis & Vincent Vannetelbosch & Wouter Vergote, 2014. "Dominance invariant one-to-one matching problems," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 43(4), pages 925-943, November.
    13. DI SUMMA, Marco, 2013. "The convex hull of the all-different system with the inclusion property: a simple proof," CORE Discussion Papers 2013069, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    14. MADANI, Mehdi & VAN VYVE, Mathieu, 2013. "A new formulation of the European day-ahead electricity market problem and its algorithmic consequences," CORE Discussion Papers 2013074, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social networks; trust; manipulation; opinion leadership; consensus; wisdom of crowds; leadershpip d'opinion; sagesse de la foule; Réseau social; confiance;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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