Political Bots

Project on Algorithms, Computational Propaganda, and Digital Politics

Trump, Putin and the New Cold War

On April 12, 1982, Yuri Andropov, the chairman of the K.G.B., ordered foreign-intelligence operatives to carry out “active measures”—aktivniye meropriyatiya—against the reëlection campaign of President Ronald Reagan. Unlike classic espionage, which involves the collection of foreign secrets, active measures aim at influencing events—at undermining a rival power with forgeries, front groups, and countless other techniques…

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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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Automated Pro-Trump Overwhelmed Pro-Clinton Messages, Researchers Say

An automated army of pro-Donald J. Trump chatbots overwhelmed similar programs supporting Hillary Clinton five to one in the days leading up to the presidential election, according to a report published Thursday by researchers at Oxford University. The chatbots — basic software programs with a bit of artificial intelligence and rudimentary communication skills — would…

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How Pro-Trump Twitter Bots Spread Fake News

President-elect Donald Trump has credited the strength of his political movement, in part, to his immense reach on social-media platforms. And it’s true, he does have a ton of followers on Facebook and Twitter. But not all of those followers are human. Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, automated networks of social-media bots spread erroneous information…

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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….

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The Political Twitter Bots Will Rage This Election Day

  “She will never win,” Gabriella tweeted emphatically on Monday, hours before the polls opened on Election Day. “Stealing is not winning, it’s losing.” “Hillary Hillary Hillary!” Mel tweeted in the same hour, with equal enthusiasm. As the war for hearts and minds and votes entered the final battle, it was no time for partisans to relent. Democratic candidate…

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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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