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Computer Scientists find massive collections of Fake Accounts on micro-blogging site Twitter

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FILE - The Twitter logo appears on a screen in Ventura, California. VOA

London, Jan 26, 2017: Computer scientists have found massive collections of fake accounts on the micro-blogging site Twitter, suggesting that one person or a group is managing these accounts. According to a BBC report on Wednesday, the largest network that was found tied together more than 350,000 accounts and further work suggested that others might be even bigger.

As of the third quarter of 2016, the micro-blogging service averaged at 317 million monthly active users. The networks were uncovered accidentally when some researchers were probing Twitter to see how people use it. Some of the accounts were used to fake follower numbers, send spam and boost interest in trending topics.

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On Twitter, bots are accounts that are run remotely by someone who automates the messages they send and activities they carry out. Some people pay to get bots to follow their account or to dilute chatter about controversial subjects.

“It is difficult to assess exactly how many Twitter users are bots,” Juan Echeverria, computer scientist at University College London (UCL) who uncovered the massive networks was quoted as saying.

Echeverria’s analysis revealed that lots of linked accounts, suggesting one person or group is running the botnet. These accounts did not act like the bots other researchers had found but were clearly not being run by humans.

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A botnet is a network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners’ knowledge.

The network of 350,000 bots were linked because it was found that the tweets were coming from places where nobody lives, messages were being posted only from Windows phones and the tweets were quotes from Star Wars novels, the report added. (IANS)

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Micro-blogging Site Twitter Records 5.6 Lakh Tweets on Exit Polls in 24 Hours

The results of the seven-phase general elections would be declared on May 23

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The logo for Twitter is displayed above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. vOA

As majority of exit polls predicted victory for the BJP-led NDA at the Centre, Twitter recorded nearly 5.6 lakh tweets related to exit polls in 24 hours, the company said on Tuesday.

“Twitter saw 560K Tweets talking about the Exit Polls in 24 hours, between 6:30pm on Sunday 19th until 6:30pm on Monday 20th May, across news commentators, opinion makers and Indian citizens,” the micro-blogging platform told IANS.

Twitter recorded 45.6 million tweets on its platform during a one-month period in the run-up to the polls, registering 1.2 million tweets on the first day of voting.

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This April 26, 2017, photo shows the Twitter app icon on a mobile phone in Philadelphia. VOA

The Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is all set to return to power winning 287 seats in Lok Sabha elections, but the Bharatiya Janata Party may fall short of half-way mark on its own as it is expected to win 236 seats, according to the IANS-CVoter exit poll.

Also Read- Political Ad Spend Hits Rs 27.7 cr on Facebook as Polls End

The IANS-VOTER prediction is based on a sample size of around 5 lakh across the country.

The results of the seven-phase general elections would be declared on May 23. (IANS)