Nearly Half Of The Twitter Accounts Discussing ‘Reopening America’ May Be Bots

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prfesser

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The research is ongoing by Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Science faculty/researchers, and the link above is from CMU itself and not from the news media.

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Scrolling through your Twitter feed, it may not be obvious when you come upon a bot account — something that is more likely to occur in the era of COVID-19. Carnegie Mellon University researchers have discovered that much of the discussion around the pandemic and stay-at-home orders is being fueled by misinformation campaigns that use convincing bots.

To analyze bot activity around the pandemic, CMU researchers since January have collected more than 200 million tweets discussing coronavirus or COVID-19. Of the top 50 influential retweeters, 82% are bots, they found. Of the top 1,000 retweeters, 62% are bots.

The monitoring of tweets is ongoing and collections from Facebook, Reddit and YouTube have been added to the research.

"We're seeing up to two times as much bot activity as we'd predicted based on previous natural disasters, crises and elections," said Kathleen Carley, a professor in the School of Computer Science’s Institute for Software Research and director of the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems (CASOS) and Center for Informed Democracy & Social - Cybersecurity (IDeaS.)
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Best -- Terry
 

manixFan

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One of my neighbors is a big Twitter user. I've discussed bots and the like with him before. He knows there are a lot of bots, but what bothers him even more are the paid posters, like what the Russians did. Real people who are paid to post or defend a certain position or ideology. He says he has interacted with a wide variety of them from time to time. One giveaway are posters with profiles and photos that appear to be from the US but when they engage in a conversation they make grammatical errors that show they aren't native speakers, in spite of what their profile claims. What I don't understand is that in spite that he knows many of those he is engaging with are bots or paid to post, he does so anyway.

When I come to power, Twitter is one of the first thing that goes, it's just a tool for social destruction.


Tony
 
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Steve Shannon

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It’s classic divide and conquer. Our enemies, with the collusion of people who lap up their every word, only have to make a few posts to get us fighting amongst ourselves, resulting in diminished commitment to doing what’s necessary.
 

Steven

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Still never felt compelled to do any of this vacuous silliness. When I can say no to drugs, alcohol and smoking, saying no to other forms of empty headed goings on becomes child's play by comparison.
 

cerving

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Unfortunately there are way too many people that can't (or won't...) handle more than 20 or 30 words at a time. That makes critical thinking almost impossible... and once the social media bots tag them, they'll get one and only one point of view, so as far as they're concerned it must be "the truth".
 

PatD

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Confirmation bias.
 

amiliv

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One of my neighbors is a big Twitter user. I've discussed bots and the like with him before. He knows there are a lot of bots, but what bothers him even more are the paid posters, like what the Russians did. Real people who are paid to post or defend a certain position or ideology.
Yup. We saw a ton of that on all social apps, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, you name it. If you see a picture perfect stereotype of American youth on their profile page, tons of flags, F-150, add a gun or two to the mix, there's a very high probability it is some dude from Russia behind it. And yup, they are targeting both conservatives and liberals, pitting them more and more against each other. Nation divided, is the nation conquered.

There's this dude from Alabama, Destin Sandlin of Smarter Every Day. He did a good series of videos on how these agents operate, where he had interviews with Twitter, Facebook, etc employees. Well worth watching:

Poisoning your news feed in general:
Youtube episode:
Twitter episode:
Facebook episode:
Reddit episode:

And to keep it rocketry related, he did an awesome United Launch Alliance rocket factory tour https://youtu.be/o0fG_lnVhHw
 

Funkworks

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I stopped using Twitter the day I had a creepy invitation to "follow" "someone".
 
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