VERIFY: Bot or not? How to check if a Twitter account is trying to manipulate you

VERIFY: Bot or not? How to check if a Twitter account is trying to manipulate you

Are there tools to help determine if a Twitter account is a bot or not? Yes, both Botometer and Hoaxy are great tools in determining the probability a Twitter account is automated. Filippo Menczer- Director of Botometer and Professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University Clayton A. Davis- Lead Developer of Botometer and PhD candidate at Indiana University College of Infomatics, Computing and Engineering Bret Schafer- Alliance for Securing Democracy Social Media Analyst and Communications Officer at the German Marshall Fund Like when one orchestrator is pulling the strings of hundreds of bots, it appears a if hundreds of people care about an issue, but it's all fabricated. "People have this heuristic where we give more credibility to opinions that look more widely shared, and this is central deception that bots help and create," Clayton A. Davis, lead developer of Botometer said. "Politically active accounts on Twitter often are targets of manipulation by bots, whether that's to boost the content that you're producing or to target you with content," Davis said. "Social media users need to be aware of their role in information laundering, Schafer said. This is how false information really spreads because once it jumps into circles of real users it becomes increasingly difficult to track back to its original source." Davis explained it's difficult to even determine who created a bot. Davis said.

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Botometer is an online tool that allows you to type in a Twitter handle, and an algorithm calculates the probability it's a bot.

QUESTION:

Are there tools to help determine if a Twitter account is a bot or not?

ANSWER:

Yes, both Botometer and Hoaxy are great tools in determining the probability a Twitter account is automated.

SOURCES:

Filippo Menczer– Director of Botometer and Professor of Informatics and Computer Science at Indiana University

Clayton A. Davis– Lead Developer of Botometer and PhD candidate at Indiana University College of Infomatics, Computing and Engineering

Bret Schafer– Alliance for Securing Democracy Social Media Analyst and Communications Officer at the German Marshall Fund

PROCESS:

For years, Twitter has been dueling the encroachment of bots.

Not all automated bots are harmful. Companies and Newsrooms use bots to help publish content and headlines. Others are funny or informative.

But harmful bots–infamous for tweeting repeatedly, being argumentative and deceptive–have been a real problem in influencing the way we think and the social media ecosystem.

Like when one orchestrator is pulling the strings of hundreds of bots, it appears a if hundreds of people care about an issue, but it’s all fabricated.

“People have this heuristic where we give more credibility to opinions that look more widely shared, and this is central deception that bots help and create,” Clayton A. Davis, lead developer of Botometer said. “They lend an…

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