In the case of the Brexit referendum, the two single most active accounts from each side of the debate were bots.
“These accounts, @ivoteLeave and @ivotestay, follow a similar algorithm. Neither generates new content, they mechanically retweet messages from their side of the debate. Another surprise bot is @Col_Connaughton, a long-running pro- Palestine bot that seems to have been repurposed to support the Brexit side. It is not clear if there is any human curation involved, but it certainly uses automation. Another pro-Palestinain bot is @Rotenyahu, which has been tasked to retweet messages from Col_Connaughton account so it too is distributing #Brexit content. These are good examples of bots designed to amplify a source simply by aggregating and repeating content.”
It’s also a good example of how these interlinked bots are reprogrammed for the purpose of spamming us into changing the course of history.
If all this dire behaviour was con ned to the bottom of the Twitter barrel it would all be rather a non-event. But when the newspapers, the television stations, the radio, all the ‘proper media’ outlets diligently pick up from Twitter and report on what’s ‘trending’ they are falling directly into the intension of bot operators who are stage managing outcomes.
Just as clickbait brings in revenue, the media companies themselves are baited with bot generated ‘data’ and information, which they in turn report as something close to or reflective of ‘reality and truth’. When the same ‘news’ is trending online as well as on TV and in print, it becomes societal fact. Twitter themselves will surely address this outrage. Expect them to take immediate action, providing it does not impact statistical user numbers, statistical volumes of activity, revenues, political importance, social influence, relevance as a company, share value, reputation, or any other metrics.