In the process of text clustering, we detected and studied 417 VK users that were writing about politics. Our script determined 152 clusters of topics in more than 9K texts. As a result of clustering, we identified 40 users who exhibited strange activity on VKontakte.
The distinctive feature of these profiles was frequent usage of the following words: 'политика' (politics), 'канал' (channel), 'русский' (Russian), 'срочно' (urgent), 'Украина' (Ukraine), 'Путин' (Putin). The pages of these VK users also contained posts about nature, art, religion, music, and reposts from neutral groups. So, given the massive amount of text, it would be hard to detect such accounts manually. The most suspicious aspects of these posts were the short time intervals between posts, as well as inauthentic photos.
We studied these accounts more closely and detected that the time intervals before the posts were 3, 5 or 10 minutes. It was clear that the posts were shared automatically, and that the accounts shared the characteristics of social bots.
The text content was critical of the current President of Ukraine, Poroshenko, and contained anti-Ukraine sentiments.