The Crossroads of Special Operations

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Source: How Twitter bots affected the US presidential campaign | Fifth Domain

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A grand jury led by special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted 13 Russians for, among other things, using social media accounts to influence public debate in the lead-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. My research has found that large numbers of participants in that online conversation were biased robots created by unseen groups with unknown agendas.

Since 2012, I have been studying how people discuss socialpoliticalideological and policyissues online. In particular, I have looked at how social media are abused for manipulative purposes.

It turns out that much of the political content Americans see on social media every day is not produced by human users. Rather, about one in every five election-related tweets from Sept. 16 to Oct. 21, 2016, was generated by computer software programs called “social bots.”

Source: How Twitter bots affected the US presidential campaign | Fifth Domain

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