Thursday, June 22, 2017

Twitter bots influenced Brexit result

Jun 23 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
How Twitter bots influenced Brexit result

A study from the University of Ox ford has warned that bots and trolls were working together to spread propaganda and manipulate Twitter and Facebook users' political views.Bots “played a small but strategic role“ in shaping Twitter conversations during the EU referendum last year, the report said. “The family of hashtags associated with the argument for leaving the EU dominated, while less than 1% of sampled accounts generated almost a third of all the messages,“ it said.
They also affected the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election, the study added. “Computational propa ganda is one of the most powerful new tools against democracy ,“ warned the report. The report described computational propaganda as a “phenomenon that encompasses recent digital misinformation and manipulation efforts“, which “involves learning from and mimicking real people so as to manipulate public opinion across a diverse range of platforms and device networks“.
According to the study , which analysed tens of millions of social media posts across seven different platforms during elections, political crises, and national security incidents in nine countries, computational propaganda is most effective when bots and trolls work together. Facebook in particular has attracted a great deal of criticism in recent months, due to the rise of fake news. “Social media firms need to significantly redesign themselves if democracy is going to survive social media,“ the study said.

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