> But in a new study, the researchers have found that bots may account for between 45 and 60% of Twitter accounts discussing covid-19.“
Edit: this was more interesting:
> not only were bots gaining traction and accumulating followers, but they accounted for 82% of the top 50 and 62% of the top 1,000 influential retweeters
Bots are used to get attention, steer the conversation, introduce key retweeters to bot retweeters and merge a couple independent user groups at scale.
This is a highly specialist job not a couple of random amateurs, and could be the underlying mechanism at work here.
Big brands pay a fortune to execute similar tactics but are not even 10% as effective. Coke for example has an annual advertisement budget 7+ billion.
"Instead of creating a model based on our interpretation of a troll or bot, we used Twitter rules as a guide when selecting Twitter accounts to train our model. We searched for accounts that were repeatedly violating Twitter rules and we trained our model to identify accounts similar to the accounts we identified as “trollbots.”"
That's not a bot.
Most bots should be programmed to avoid violating Twitter rules to ensure they are not banned.
Maybe Bot Sentinel's model is simply finding users that prefer not to follow authority/rules.
edit: apparently this too is a pursuit of academic study. estimated at 15%:
I'm sure the CEO of Jet Blue (the guy that funded a phony study to minimize covid) and execs like him would gladly astroturf on twitter.
So either you will see this in the data, or you'll see them playing both sides.
So where are the bots to close America?
The study isn't even released yet. So who knows what they may have made up yet with their 'machine- learning'.
There obviously is a lot of misinformation from nation states on Twitter and Reddit and HN. This press release is next to useless unless it has a point or interesting proof or names a new nation not Russia.
Bot disinformation campaigns like this tend to be fuelled by US adversaries and thus usually push into directions that are harmful or embarassing for the US, so there isn't much incentive to advocate for keeping the containment measures going, because that's essentially the sensible decision backed by health experts at this point.
All the spam around covid, which you can even see if you just browse twitter yourself is mostly miracle cures, reopening the US, Bill Gates conspiracy theory stuff and so on.
No they aren't. They push conflict is the theory. If this theory is incorrect, then that's a big deal.
But as I also said Russia also did a 180 on whether lock downs were good or bad.
So we still should have seen this turn. They would have wanted the USA to lockdown at first, since they didn't.
If any other country is involved, that too is a big deal.
This press release just repeats what we know. Russia messes with twitter to piss people off, but the article leads with a great Russian designed title "Only bots push to reopen"
On FB, I recently saw a meme along the lines of "a couple weeks of eating their own cooking and white people are rioting".
I can hardly think of anything I've read in a long time that attacks conspiracy theories, specific ones or in general, without promoting an unbelievable one as an alternative. Or demanding one by implication.
If you absolutely are going to reject the idea of a conspiracy being responsible for general insanity, it seems like maybe we should be looking for an environmental factor, analogous to leaded gasoline.
Everybody has been worrying about cell phones causing cancer, maybe the radiation just makes people crazy instead? Or maybe there is a virus that unlike Covid doesn't cause lung problems that people notice?
The next suspect (‘while we don’t have direct evidence’) is Big Oil!