TellFinder visual analytics to automatically characterize internet data
TellFinder™ provides efficient visual analytics to support domain experts by automatically characterizing and organizing publicly available Internet data. These techniques are applicable to various domains, and are currently being used with escort advertisements to combat human trafficking.
In analyzing potentially illicit web postings, intelligence and crime analysts, border agents, law enforcement agents and civil society organizations must invest significant resources in highly manual web searches. As such postings proliferate and just as quickly disappear from the Internet, these processes often fail to capture the scope and complete patterns of the entities and organizations behind them.
With TellFinder’s web-based interface, users can access an archive of historical postings from which meaningful attributes are extracted and aggregated. TellFinder groups postings into succinct visual elements (“personas”) to reveal activity of interest and summarize the behaviour of and relationships between the entities that post them.
Compared to standard web search engines, TellFinder enables people to research case-related data and tips in significantly less time. Reviewing TellFinder’s automatically characterized personas also allows users to track activity patterns over time, discover previously unknown actors and infer organizational relationships.