Technology • Internet & Web
2020-08-30T17:30:01+00:00

Nearly half of Twitter accounts pushing to reopen America may be bots

There has been a huge upswell of Twitter bot activity since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, amplifying medical disinformation and the push to reopen America.

Across US and foreign elections, natural disasters, and other politicized events, the level of bot involvement is normally between 10 and 20%, according to Kathleen M. Carley and her team at Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Informed Democracy & Social Cybersecurity.

In a new study, the researchers have found that bots may account for between 45 and 60% of Twitter accounts discussing Covid-19. Many of those accounts were created in February and have since been spreading and amplifying misinformation, including false medical advice, conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus, and pushes to end stay-at-home orders and reopen America.

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