Sunday August 18, 2019
Home India How Pro-Modi,...

How Pro-Modi, Anti-Modi Twitter Bots went Berserk

The most active was @PhillyTdp, which posted on #GoBackModi 2,179 times as the hashtag took off staggering one tweet every 5.3 seconds for over three hours

0
//
Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

Two Twitter bots — one in support of and one in opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi — made a massive attempt to boost traffic on the platform in India in February as the world’s largest democracy prepared for the General Elections, a new report has found.

The US-based Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFR Lab) revealed that the pro-Modi traffic was far more heavily manipulated than the anti-Modi traffic or any large-scale traffic flow the DFR Lab had analyzed.

The two hashtags were #GoBackModi and #TNwelcomesModi.

“The accounts were deployed on a massive scale on February 9-10 and boosted hashtags both in support of and in opposition to incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with small groups of accounts pushing out thousands of posts an hour,” said the DFR Lab report.

The accounts were domestic in origin and substance.

#TNwelcomesModi was mentioned over 777,000 times in two days. The hashtag referenced Modi’s visit to Tamil Nadu.

The DFR Lab analyzed the first 49,727 tweets in the flow to see whether the hashtag started to trend because of widespread interest or because it was pushed by a small group.

“Almost two-thirds of the posts that initiated #TNwelcomesModi and pushed it to trend came from just 50 accounts. This was an attempt at manipulation on an industrial scale, using a small number of hyper-tweeting bots to give the hashtag a massive boost,” the report explained.

Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

One such bot account, @priyamanaval6 tweeted around once every 17 seconds. This account, and the others amplifying the #TNwelcomesModi hashtag have been suspended.

On February 10, the hashtag #GoBackModi also trended.

This hashtag trended even faster, racking up 49,538 tweets in just over three hours in the early morning of February 10. It peaked at a lower rate, however, generating 447,000 posts on February 9-10.

Just like #TNwelcomesModi, #GoBackModi was heavily pushed by a small number of high-volume accounts that posted hundreds of times an hour.

Also Read- Facebook to Use AI to Stop Notifications About Deceased Ones: Report

“Unlike #TNwelcomesModi, these accounts were still not suspended at the time of the report.

The most active was @PhillyTdp, which posted on #GoBackModi 2,179 times as the hashtag took off staggering one tweet every 5.3 seconds for over three hours.

The analysis used the Coefficient of Traffic Manipulation (CTM) method, which allows researchers to compare a given Twitter flow with known organic traffic, and traffic that was heavily gamed by small groups. (IANS)

Next Story

Twitter Testing New Feature to Filter Spam and Abusive Messages from Direct Message (DM) Inbox

Currently, Twitter allows users to set their DM inbox open to receive messages from anyone

0
Twitter, Feature, Filter
"Unwanted messages aren't fun. So we're testing a filter in your DM requests to keep those out of sight, out of mind," Twitter Support posted on Friday. Pixabay

Micro-blogging platform Twitter is testing a new feature to filter spam and abusive messages from your Direct Message (DM) inbox.

“Unwanted messages aren’t fun. So we’re testing a filter in your DM requests to keep those out of sight, out of mind,” Twitter Support posted on Friday.

Currently, Twitter allows users to set their DM inbox open to receive messages from anyone.

“This new experiment will test a filter that will move unwanted messages, including those with offensive content or spam, to a separate tab,” reports TechCrunch.

Twitter, Feature, Filter
Micro-blogging platform Twitter is testing a new feature to filter spam and abusive messages from your Direct Message (DM) inbox. Pixabay

Twitter this week announced several changes coming to its platform, including a way to follow topics, a search tool for the Direct Message inbox, as well as support for iOS Live Photos as GIFs.

The new option would allow users search for a particular message by a specific person through a dedicated tab in their DM inbox.

The feature would let users search for a particular message via profile name and likely by Twitter handle.

Last month, the micro-blogging site redesigned the desktop interface of its platform.

Also Read- Feels Like Glorious Days of Test Cricket are Back

The company is also testing an option to let users subscribe to a tweet discussion in order to get notified of any replies. (IANS)