Spot the bot
Bots and fake social media accounts started appearing around 2012 and have grown exponentially since then. Over the years many of these bots have amassed hundreds and sometimes thousands of followers – making them look like real people.
What is a BOT / Fake Social Media Account?
Bots and Fake accounts are accounts which are set up to appear to be someone they are not. They could be just random name or they could be trying to trick people into believing they are someone else. A BOT is a software application that interacts with users, it gives the illusion that you are dealing with a human. Many companies use BOT’s very effectively in performing repetitive or pre-defined tasks. However, BOTs are also used in Social Media to trick other by spreading a particular narrative or misinformation. BOT accounts are programmed to amass a large following and often have a malicious element.
Unfortunately, these bots and fake accounts are being used as a new time of warfare – information and misinformation warfare.
Twitter reported that over 15% of all Twitter users could be bots in January of 2018. In a study by the Pew Research Centre, they found that ⅔ of all tweeted links had been shared and tweeted by suspected bots. https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2018/04/09/bots-in-the-twittersphere/.
These bots have directly contributed to fake news and conspiracy theories online, with the sole aim of dangerous spread of misinformation.