Left Menu
Development News Edition

Majority of Twitter bots affecting US elections originated from Russia and Iran


Majority of Twitter bots affecting US elections originated from Russia and Iran
Image Credit: Pixabay

Scientists have identified thousands of Twitter bots, including those originating from Russia and Iran, that were active during the mid-term elections in the US last year, a study has found. The study by researchers from University of Southern California in the US showed that more than a fifth of those posting about the elections on Twitter with #ivoted were robots.

Between October 6 and November 19, nearly two weeks after the election day, the researchers identified more than 200,000 bots posting about the mid-term elections, compared to about 750,000 humans. The research provides more detail about interference operations that were found to originate within Iran, Venezuela and Russia, CNBC reported.

Thousands of those bots could be traced to Russia and several hundred could be traced to Iran, according to Emilio Ferrara, of USC's Information Sciences Institute. Much of the bot activity appeared to originate in the US or had no clear provenance, Ferrara said.

To identify which accounts were bots, the researchers used a tool called the "Botometer" which uses machine learning techniques to determine whether an account is operated by a human or by a software algorithm. Ferrara said the tool correctly designated an account about 95 per cent of the time.

The number of bots active in the 2018 elections appeared to represent a dramatic reduction compared to 2016, researchers said, possibly as a result of Twitter's efforts to remove bots from its platform. However, the team warns that it is impossible to tell whether the reduction in bot activity since 2016 was the result of increased monitoring efforts or if the bots were becoming more sophisticated and avoiding detection.

(With inputs from agencies.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION/BLOG/INTERVIEW

WEF2020: Trump seems politically correct in pulling out from Paris Agreement

If the survey of the World Economic Forum WEF is believed, Trump seems to enjoy the confidence of his people in flaying climate intuitions and climate activists. His preference for economic development over environmental protection not only...

From home to healthcare, here are Robotic innovations transforming lives

Lovot is equipped with more than 50 sensors such as thermography, microphone array, obstacle detection, and touch sensor to generate motion and emotions in real-time....

Translating words to deeds: Achieving gender parity in access to financial resources

... ...

SDG13: How you can reduce global warming by changing your food habits

The mega narratives of various international organizations give the impression that fighting global warming is only a job of government agencies. However, the European Investment Bank EIB has designed a questionnaire which besides making th...

Videos

Latest News

Faf du Plessis is still in our plans: Linda Zondi

Acting selection convenor Linda Zondi said Faf du Plessis, who was dropped from the South African ODI squad against England, is still in the teams plan for limited-overs cricket. He hasnt retired. He is still in our plans, but it is importa...

CAA petitions: SC says no stay without hearing Centre, may refer pleas to larger Constitution bench

The Supreme Court on Wednesday made it clear that it will not grant any stay on the Citizenship Amendment Act CAA without hearing the Centre and said it may refer pleas challenging the validity of the Act to a larger Constitution bench. A b...

Laura Dern to star in Quibi series 'Just One Drink'

Golden Globe winner Laura Dern is the latest name from Hollywood to team up with Quibi and the actor will star in the series, Just One Drink. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dern will also executive produce the series, penned by About ...

Pamela Anderson marries Jon Peters

Actor-model Pamela Anderson and movie mogul Jon Peters have tied the knot in a private ceremony. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the couple, who dated over 30 years ago, exchanged vows in Malibu on January 20.Anderson, 52, and Peters, ...

Give Feedback