Project members Sam Woolley and Douglas Guilbeault wrote an article on how “Bots are Shaping the US Election” for the Atlantic.
All these numbers—social media followings, polls, or statistics—are only as viable as the tools used to get to them. Political campaigns worldwide now use bots, software developed to automatically do tasks online, as a means for gaming online polls and artificially inflating social-media traffic. Recent analysis by our research team at Oxford University reveals that more than a third of pro-Trump tweets and nearly a fifth of pro-Clinton tweets between the first and second debates came from automated accounts, which produced more than 1 million tweets in total. This data corroborates recent reports suggesting that both candidates’ social media followings are highly automated.
Read the full article here.