Author Date


Degree Name



Electrical and Computer Engineering


Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Dr. Derek Hansen

First Faculty Reader

Dr. Justin Giboney

Second Faculty Reader

Dr. Hridoy Sankar Dutta

Honors Coordinator

Dr. Derek Hansen


cybersecurity, hactivism, social media, hacking, Telegram, topic modeling


The anonymity and lack of censorship online provides the perfect environment for hacker activists to pursue social change. The expansive reach and democratic access to social media has empowered groups to organize and develop messaging to specifically fit an online audience. As social media become ubiquitous, the reputation and use of messaging application have become mainstream. Due to a self-professed focus on privacy, platforms like Telegram have become the norm for hosting the hacktivist communities. The purpose of this research was to understand the features in Telegram messages that correlate with the most engagement from their audience. As expected, the number of users is the best predictor of number of message views. Other significant predictors of more reactions and/or forwards included certain topics (nationalism, military, and cyber) identified by topic modeling, as well as the inclusion of more text, links, and documents. Interestingly, have a photograph made it more likely a message would be forwarded, but less likely it would be reacted to.