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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On Twitter, a Battle Among Political Bots

On social media, our political battles are increasingly automated. People who head to Twitter to discuss their ideals are, often unwittingly, conversing with legions of bots: accounts preprogrammed to spew the same campaign slogans, insults or conspiracy theories hundreds or thousands of times a day. And one of their most competitive battlegrounds is the prime…

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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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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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