The inherent lack of control over the Internet content resulted in proliferation of online material that can be potentially detrimental. For example, the infamous “Anarchist Cookbook” teaching how to make weapons, home made bombs, and poisons, keeps re-appearing in various places. Some websites teach how to break into computer networks to steal passwords and credit card information. Law enforcement, security experts, and public watchdogs started to locate, monitor, and act when such malevolent content surfaces on the Internet. Since the resources of law enforcement are limited, it may take some time before potentially malevolent content is located, enough for it to disseminate and cause harm. Currently applied approach for searching the content of the Internet, available for law enforcement and public watchdogs is by using a search engine, such as Google, AOL, MSN, etc. We have suggested and empirically evaluated an alternative technology (called automated question answering or QA) capable of locating potentially malevolent online content. We have implemented a proof-of-concept prototype that is capable of finding web pages that may potentially contain the answers to specified questions (e.g. “How to steal a password?”). Using students as subjects in a controlled experiment, we have empirically established that our QA prototype finds web pages that are more likely to provide answers to given questions than simple keyword search using Google. This suggests that QA technology can be a good replacement or an addition to the traditional keyword searching for the task of locating malevolent online content and, possibly, for a more general task of interactive online information exploration.
Roussinov, Dimitri and Robles-Flores, Jose A., "How Question Answering Technology Helps to Locate Malevolent Online Content" (2005). AMCIS 2005 Proceedings. 277.