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High Percentage of Robot-generated Fake Tweets likely to Influence Public Opinion before upcoming US Presidential Elections

Researchers have found that robots, rather than people have produced 3.8 million tweets

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US Presidential Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Wikimedia
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Washington, November 5, 2016:  Just before US Election polls, a high percentage of the political discussion was created by software robots or social bots on popular social media site Twitter, that may be influencing public opinion, warned a new study.

According to PTI, researchers from the University of Southern California’s (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering in the US worry that these robot-generated tweets are likely to distort political online discussion as well as there is a possibility that it might impact election outcomes.

[bctt tweet=”Researchers found that Republican candidate Donald Trump’s robot-produced tweets were almost uniformly positive, boosting the candidate’s popularity. ” username=””]

“Software robots masquerading as humans are influencing the political discourse on social media as never before and could threaten the very integrity of the 2016 US presidential election,” said research leader at the USC, Emilio Ferrara.

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Ferrara and Alessandro Bessi, who are visiting research assistants at USC have analysed 20 million election-related tweets created between September 16 and October 21, by leveraging state-of-the art bot detection algorithms, mentioned PTI report.

While delving deep, they found that robots, rather than people have produced 3.8 million tweets, or 19 percent. Social bots also accounted for 400,000 of the 2.8 million individual users, or nearly 15 percent of the population under study.

After analysing, researchers have found that Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s robot-produced tweets were almost uniformly positive, that is boosting the candidate’s popularity.

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On contrary to that, only half of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s bot tweets were positive, with the other half criticising the nominee, mentioned PTI.

It is often impossible to determine who creates these tweets, due to the social bots’ sophistication.

According to the report, political parties, local, national and foreign governments and even single individuals with adequate resources could obtain the operational capabilities and technical tools to deploy armies of social bots and affect the directions of online political conversation, said the researchers.

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The “master puppeteers” behind influence bots, often create fake Twitter and Facebook profiles, they said, mentioned PTI.

“They do so by stealing online pictures, giving them fictitious names, and cloning biographical information from existing accounts,” they added.

“These bots have become so sophisticated that they can tweet, retweet, share content, comment on posts, ‘like’ candidates, grow their social influence by following legit human accounts and even engage in human-like conversations,” researchers further added.

– prepared by NewsGram with inputs from PTI.

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Twitter Comes out With IIFA Emoji

Viewers can simply tweet using #IIFA2018 to use the emoji

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Twitter comes out with IIFA emoji
Twitter comes out with IIFA emoji (IANS)

Twitter on Friday launched a special IIFA emoji for the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Weekend and Awards.

Viewers can simply tweet using #IIFA2018 to use the emoji. The special emoji appears next to the hashtag in the tweet, and is designed based on the iconic IIFA award, read a statement to IANS.

Also Read: Study: Twitterati More Logical in the Morning, Emotional in the Evening

Keya Madhvani, Head – Entertainment Partnerships, Twitter India, said: “The IIFA awards is a much awaited event of the year amongst the film fraternity and Bollywood fans. Twitter is delighted to partner with IIFA for the launch of a special emoji that will create a holistic experience for consumers on a global scale.”

The three-day gala is being held in Bangkok this year, and will witness the presence of some of Hindi filmdom’s iconic stars and new actors on the red carpet, in the audience and on stage. The main awards night will be held on Sunday. (IANS)