Political Bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

Bots and Automation over Twitter during the Second 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 U.S. Presidential debate. In this brief analysis we find that (1) Twitter traffic on pro-Trump hashtags…

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US election: experts fear Twitter bots could spread lies and sway voters

Few would disagree that Donald Trump’s supporters are enthusiastic on Twitter. And during the first US presidential debate against rival Hillary Clinton, it was no different. Millions of tweets were sent out by people commentating on the heated head-to-head. But a new study has found that a fair few of the pro-Trump tweets could have…

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Trump’s Twitter debate lead was ‘swelled by bots’

More than four times as many tweets were made by automated accounts in favour of Donald Trump around the first US presidential debate as by those backing Hillary Clinton, a study says. The bots exaggerated support for the Republican, it suggests, but Trump would still have won a higher number of supportive tweets even if…

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Donald Trump Twitter Bot Announces Candidacy For President

Donald Trump’s use of fourth grade-level language may be a powerful rhetorical tool, but his linguistic austerity has opened him up to a modern form of mockery: the Twitter bot. Brad Hayes, a researcher at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), created the DeepDrumpf Trump Twitter bot earlier this year by training it…

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Bots and Automation over Twitter during the First 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 U.S. Presidential debate. In this brief analysis we find that (1) Twitter traffic on pro-Trump hashtags…

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A Twitter Bot Imitates Donald Trump in order to Attack him Better (Un « bot » Twitter imite Donald Trump pour mieux le dénoncer)

Un chercheur du MIT a fabriqué une intelligence artificielle qui publie des tweets inspirés des discours de Donald Trump. Ce n’est pas la première fois que des « bots » s’invitent dans la campagne présidentielle américaine. « Jusqu’où va la stupidité de ces politiciens ? Ils nous tuent, mais ça, personne ne le dit. Nous…

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IJOC: Automation, Big Data and Politics: A Research Review

We review the great variety of critical scholarship on algorithms, automation, and big data in areas of contemporary life both to document where there has been robust scholarship and to contribute to existing scholarship by identifying gaps in our research agenda. We identify five domains with opportunities for further scholarship: (a) China, (b) international interference…

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When Bots Tweet: Toward a Normative Framework for Bots on Social Networking Sites

Political actors are using algorithms and automation to sway public opinion, notably through the use of “bot” accounts on social networking sites. This article considers the responsibility of social networking sites and other platforms to respect human rights, such as freedom of expression and privacy. It then proposes a set of standards for chat bots…

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Growing Bot Security: An Ecological View of Bot Agency

Political actors are now deploying software programs called social bots that use social networking services such as Facebook or Twitter to communicate with users and manipulate their behavior, creating profound issues for Internet security. Current approaches in bot control continue to fail because social media platforms supply communication resources that allow bots to escape detection…

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Auditing for Transparency in Content Personalization Systems

Do we have a right to transparency when we use content personalization systems? Building on prior work in discrimination detection in data mining, I propose algorithm auditing as a compatible ethical duty for providers of content personalization systems to maintain the transparency of political discourse. I explore barriers to auditing that reveal the practical limitations…

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