Political Bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

How Bots, Twitter, and Hackers Pushed Trump to the Finish Line

The 2016 presidential election season is, at last, over. Polls and the press were reasonably certain Hillary Clinton would emerge as the country’s first female president. But the winner, to the shock of many, was Donald Trump, a candidate written off early by the Republican establishment, and then by the Democratic establishment, as a sideshow.

Yet Trump, now the President-elect, managed to win by pulling an electoral college coup, winning in places like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, and Ohio—states whose electoral votes went to President Obama in both 2008 and 2012. In a race that was unpredictable through Election Day itself, what seems most certain now is that the normal rules of campaigning no longer apply. You can tweet out that the electoral college is a “disaster for democracy” — and then rely on that electoral college to make you president four years later.

Read more in Backchannel.

BackchannelBotsSamuel C. WoolleyTrumpUS Election

Sam Woolley • November 12, 2016


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