Bots will win 2020

Not literally, but Russian Twitter and Facebook bots are being used to influence public opinion.

Not literally, but Russian Twitter and Facebook bots are being used to influence public opinion.

Bot posts and fake news content is generated most frequently in the United States and other Western European nations rather than in Russia.

Twitter reportedly has suspended over 5,000 accounts that were connected to fake news last month. Obviously that is just a drop in the bucket with some estimates of nearly half the tweets on twitter are bot created.

Facebook which, for some reason, is still by far the most popular news source for the American public, has announced an initiative to try to combat the issue. But there has been little change in the amount of fake news on the site. In fact Facebook has decided to publish fake news as ads.

The vast majority of bots posting on social media have strong partisan leaning. The political leanings of bots span the gamut of political ideologies supporting Democrats, Republicans, and others.

There will be no excuses when the 2020 election is won by bots.

Trying to track bot activity on Twitter can be tricky. There are myriad ways to manipulate the voting process without any overt attempt to manipulate the results, and bots continue to evolve. For instance there are disinformation bots posting that the Democratic New Hampshire primary has already been hacked.

The explanation for the Russian hacking the 2016 presidential election and the “fog of war” in the campaign, has been largely discredited though there is an ongoing FBI investigation into the 2016 campaign.