Left Menu
Development News Edition

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

Devdiscourse News Desk | Los Angeles | Updated: 05-02-2019 16:24 IST | Created: 05-02-2019 15:50 IST
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.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

5G will be the key driving force for COVID-19 recovery: Here's how?

... ...

Canada’s COVID-19 pitfalls highlight need for integrated health information system

In the globalized world of today where outbreaks can spread far and wide within a matter of days, a global-level integrated health information system is ideal but Canadas provincial barriers show that the country lags much behind in deployi...

Pandemic must be impetus, not obstacle, for clean water access

To make matters worse, there are suspicions that the inadequacy of wastewater treatment methods in California, the rest of the USA, and indeed around the world may help to propagate the disease even more widely. ...

3D printing and the future of manufacturing post COVID-19

The on-demand, customizable, and localized manufacturing of product components facilitated by 3D printing has the potential to redefine manufacturing but there are certain technical, mechanical, and legal limitations that, unless ...

Videos

Latest News

Report: 49ers plan to sign WR Austin

The San Francisco 49ers brought free agent wideout Tavon Austin in for a visit and hope to sign him, NFL Network reported Wednesday. Austin, 30, has been a free agent since March, when his one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys expired.T...

Big 12 moves forward with fall football, after Big Ten and Pac-12 push back seasons

The Big 12 Conference will proceed with its fall sports season, the collegiate athletic league said on Wednesday, a day after two other Power Five conferences said they would postpone the upcoming football season. The Big 12, one of the mos...

People News Roundup: Dwayne Johnson hangs on to top spot on Forbes and Billionaire Sumner Redstone dead at 97

Following is a summary of current people news briefs.Dwayne Johnson hangs on to top spot on Forbes highest-paid male actors listWrestler-turned-movie star Dwayne Johnson clung to the top slot on the list of the worlds highest-paid male acto...

Health News Roundup: Moderna shares jump on $1.5 billion; U.S. CDC reports 5,119,711 coronavirus cases and more

Following is a summary of current health news briefs.Moderna shares jump on 1.5 billion U.S. contract for COVID-19 vaccineShares of Moderna Inc rose more than 5 on Wednesday after analysts said a 1.5 billion coronavirus vaccine supply agree...

Give Feedback