Political Bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

As a conservative Twitter user sleeps, his account is hard at work

CHICAGO — Daniel John Sobieski, 68, climbed the stairs in his modest brick home and settled into a worn leather chair for another busy day of tweeting. But he needn’t have bothered. As one of the nation’s most prolific conservative voices on Twitter, he already had posted hundreds of times this morning — as he…

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Fake News: Why the West is Blind to Russia’s Propaganda Today

Russia has skilfully exploited social media to divide the West and increase Moscow’s power in Europe, the US and eventually Asia. The use of social media as a platform to divide democracies works, in part, because the strategy preys on a fundamental blind spot in open societies: the origin and volume of voices taking part…

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Pro #Brexit Twitter Bots (in German)

Sind womöglich Maschinen schuld? Gemeint ist die britische Anti-EU Entscheidung von vergangenem Freitag. Vor der Abstimmung waren auffällig viele Pro-Brexit Stimmen in den sozialen Netzwerken zu finden, vor allem auf Twitter. Und deren Tweets stammten nicht nur von überzeugten EU-Kritikern, sondern auch von Bots, von Computerprogrammen. Das haben zwei Politikwissenschaftler in einer Studie festgestellt. Ok,…

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Social Media, Civic Engagement, and the Slactivism Hypothesis: Lessons from Mexico’s “El Bronco

Does social media use have a positive or negative impact on civic engagement? The cynical “slacktivism hypothesis” holds that if citizens use social media for political conversation, those conversations will be fleeting and vapid. Most attempts to answer this question involve public opinion data from the United States, so we offer an examination o f…

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Computer & Neue Medien (in German)

1. Es postet die Maschine. Wenn TwitterBots Politik machen. 2. Häppchenweise. Über Micro-Learning und Fortbildung in kleinen Portionen. 3. Stuttgart oder Detroit? Das autonome Auto als Kampfplatz zwischen alten Marken und jungen Entrepreneuren. Listen at ORF.

Social Media’s Increasing Role In The 2016 Presidential Election

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Social media, by this point, is not new. But in this election season, it’s played a bigger role in our politics than ever before. NPR’s Sam Sanders has been following how our politics play out on Facebook and Twitter and other social media. And he has some thoughts. Good morning. SAM SANDERS,…

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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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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.

Donald Trump support during presidential debate was inflated by bots, professor says

Many of the Twitter users supporting Donald Trump after the presidential debates were bots, according to a new analysis. More than four times as many tweets came from automated accounts that supported Mr Trump than they did backing Hillary Clinton, according to Philip Howard from the University of Oxford. Read more in The Independent. 

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