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

Accepted submission by AnonTechie at 2020-05-21 21:36:15

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.

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.

They follow well-worn patterns of coordinated influence campaigns, and their strategy is already working: since the beginning of the crisis, the researchers have observed a greater polarisation in Twitter discourse around the topic.

[...] Unfortunately, there are no easy solutions to this problem. Banning or removing accounts won’t work, as more can be spun up for every one that is deleted. Banning accounts that spread inaccurate facts also won’t solve anything. “A lot of disinformation is done through innuendo or done through illogical statements, and those are hard to discover,” she says.

Carley says researchers, corporations, and the government need to coordinate better to come up with effective policies and practices for tamping this down. “I think we need some kind of general oversight group,” she says. “Because no one group can do it alone.”

Twitter accounts pushing to reopen America []

[Source]: Misinformation and Disinformation Regarding Coronavirus in Social Media []

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