Political bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

How pro-Trump Twitter bots are still manipulating the 2016 conversation

During the third and final presidential debate of the 2016 election, Twitter was flooded with jokes about nasty women and bad hombres. Political pundits, both professional and amateur, battled it out on the field of ideas—which, at this point in the national political discourse, consisted of a lot of juvenile name-calling. It was alternatively chaotic…

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That pro-Trump Tweet that Made Your Blood Boil? It Probably Came From a Bot

 A stream of recent sneaky tweets and social media posts tell people they can “vote from home” by simply sending a text message, a devious tactic to suppress votes. The U.S. election is not “American Idol,” and voters cannot – repeat CANNOT! – cast ballots by texting from their cellphones. Twitter says it is taking…

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Woolley and Guilbeault on Bots in The Atlantic

Director of Research Sam Woolley and affiliate researcher Douglas Guilbealt wrote a piece on how “Bots are Shaping the US Election” for The Atlantic. — There is power in numbers, or so the saying goes. But statistics mean different things to different people. Take Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, for instance. Last week, the conservative…

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Bots and Automation over Twitter during the Third U.S. Presidential Debate

Bots are social media accounts that automate interaction with other users, and political bots have been particularly active on public policy issues, political crises, and elections. We collected data on bot activity using the major hashtags related to the third U.S. Presidential debate. We find that automated pro-Trump accounts became even more aggressive in this…

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Cracking the Stealth Political Influence of Bots

Among the millions of real people tweeting about the presidential race, there are also a lot accounts operated by fake people, or “bots.” Politicians and regular users alike use these accounts to increase their follower bases and push messages. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports on how computer scientists can analyze Twitter handles to determine whether…

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Pro-Clinton Bots ‘Fought Back but Outnumbered in Second Debate’

Web robots dedicated to posting pro-Hillary Clinton tweets appear to have become more vocal in the second US presidential debate, says a study. But it adds that pro-Donald Trump bots saw an even bigger gain in activity, giving the Republican a potential advantage on the social network. Read more on the BBC.

As Artificial Intelligence Evolves, So Does Its Criminal Potential

Imagine receiving a phone call from your aging mother seeking your help because she has forgotten her banking password. Except it’s not your mother. The voice on the other end of the phone call just sounds deceptively like her. It is actually a computer-synthesized voice, a tour-de-force of artificial intelligence technology that has been crafted…

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Bot Tweets Influencing U.S. Election

COMPROP PI Phil Howard contributed to this CBC National news story on bots and the election.

Partisan Twitter bots distorting U.S. presidential candidates’ popularity

@loserDonldTrump wasn’t born yesterday. It was actually the day before. Just after 3 p.m. ET on October 18, the baby bot burst into the Twitterverse. Someone, somewhere, who is clearly not a fan of the Republican presidential nominee, wrote a piece of code for a Twitter account that would fill people’s feeds with anti-Trump messages….

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Digital Mudslingers (in German)

Automatische Bots verzerren politische Diskussionen in sozialen Netzwerken und können Wahlen beeinflussen. Die Kanzlerin hält sie für gefährlich, die AfD will sie einsetzen. Read more in Spiegel Online.

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