Twitter Bots Poised to Spread Disinformation Before Election

Twitter Bots and the 2020 Election
Beware: Fake Twitter accounts will very likely be used to sow disinformation in the few remaining days before the Nov. 3 election. Here’s why →
Thousands of automated accounts, or “bots,” on Twitter posted information related to President Trump, Joe Biden and their campaigns from June through September, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Southern California.
Many of these bots, the study said, spread falsehoods related to the coronavirus and far-right conspiracy theories such QAnon and “pizzagate.”
The study said that bots accounted for 20 percent of all tweets involving these political conspiracy theories.
Twitter and Facebook have long worked to remove this kind of activity, which has been used to foment discord in past elections.
A spokesman for Twitter questioned the study’s methods. He added, “We continue to confront a changing threat landscape.”
Researchers say that automated accounts have grown more sophisticated in recent months.
Typically, they say, bots are driven by a mix of automated software and human operators, who vary the behavior of the fake accounts to avoid detection.
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