One of the common assumptions, about the disinformation campaigns that took place during the 2016 US elections, is that the campaigns were largely the result of thousands of conspiracy websites and social media bots. However, a new Big Data analysis from the Knight Foundation reveals that “79.3% of the tweets that link to fake and conspiracy news are concentrated on just 24 outlets.”
What I learned.
Bots never sleep. Signs of an automated account are tweets that occur without a pause for sleep.
Their tweets tend to occur at regular times each day.
Automated accounts are coordinated. Tweeting by coordinated accounts occurs within a few minutes of the first tweet.
The most interesting takeaway:
“Twitter claims that they have cracked down on automated accounts that spread fake news and engage in ‘spammy behavior.’ Yet despite this, 83% of the mapped accounts that spread fake and conspiracy news during the 2016 election are still active today.”