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Bots vote and scribble denunciations
Material posted: Publication date: 29-01-2017
Bots in social networks have become a powerful force that can influence public opinion and even help to win the presidential election. As they helped Trump to defeat Clinton, as their use is banned in Russia organization of the IG and for what words hurt the Russian opposition in Facebook — in the material "Газеты.Ru".

Scientists from the University of London analyzed a segment of the English-language Twitter account and came across a network of 350 thousand accounts dormant bots. All United by their love of Star wars, as their tweets consisted of random quotes from books on the universe of George Lucas.

To detect bots researchers helped unusual locations from which tweets were sent, is deserts, and seas, and even Arctic, it is a desert region. The network is in "sleep" mode in 2013, and the purpose of its creation is still unknown.

Researchers indicate that a group of "old" boats can be sold on the black market much more expensive than "fresh" because of the system of recognition of such accounts automatically consider them to be more "reliable" because of seniority in the social network.

It is likely that the owner of the botnet, fanateyuschie on "Star wars" on it and counting. On Twitter the situation is not commented.

Bots made America great

Bots in social networks have become one of the most actively discussed topics in the presidential race in the U.S. in 2016.

Automated accounts can interact with other users. Answer some simple questions and are a basic function of customer service, while others are able to "haunt" people and bother them with spam.

According to a study of a group of scientists from Oxford, a third petranovskaja content on Twitter was created by bots, which made him more popular than tweets in support of Hillary Clinton.

The team leader Professor Philip Howard said that they analyzed 9 million records, posted in the debate on 26 September 2016.

The researcher said that the Twitter accounts are suspicious, if you publish more than 50 posts a day. "However, we don't know who creates these bots — the campaign members, supporters or candidates themselves," said he.

Howard enters the team in Oxford to study "computational propaganda", that is, the political influence of bots on the elections in Mexico and Venezuela, as well as the infamous Brexit. "The conclusion is that information on social networks should be treated skeptically," the scientist said.

"Politicians use bots to influence the population. This occurs most often in the so-called mudslinging opponent, when the fake accounts trying to denigrate the person in the eyes of others."

Particularly strong botnet on Twitter intensified in the last week before the election, spreading fake news, for example, that Clinton had a stroke. Total for the week was generated about 18.9 million tweets, one way or another connected with the elections. According to the study, of which 55.1 per cent in support of the trump and just 19.1 per cent in support of Clinton.

The prevalence of these messages decreased dramatically after the election day, which means that the activity of bots is regulated by real people that just turned them off after the victory of Donald trump.

According to the report of the Commission on securities and stock exchanges of the USA,

at least 5% of all Twitter users — that is over 15 million accounts — are bots that spread spam or fake information.

In November 2016, Forbes published a study by Italian scientists found that among the subscribers of trump's Instagram account for a large number of bots and Russian-speaking users.

The researchers found that nearly 15% of the accounts signed by the President of the United States, was created with a program that with high probability indicates that the profile is not a real person and a bot.

In addition, Italian scientists have discovered more than 25 thousand users, which published the recording in Russian, using the popular hashtag us #VoteTrump and #MakeAmericaGreatAgain.

It is impossible to determine whether these accounts by the Russian special services, or just supporters of the trump in Russia, but the authors of the study believe that such publications could have a significant impact on the outcome of the presidential election.

Top aides to the opposition

Of course, bots in social networks has been used to the last elections in the United States. In 2014, when militants of the Islamic state (banned in Russia organization) seized the Iraqi city of Mosul, at the same time Twitter was fought campaign under the hashtag #AllEyesonISIS using spam to spread propaganda around the world. According to some estimates, 20% of the generated content was generated by bots.

Until now, Twitter continues to struggle with the radical group, removing in early 2016 125 thousand related accounts. But within the social networks are thousands of other profiles, and their number is growing every week.

The lack of a common # hashtag or common phrase prevents the system to automatically "clean up" all publications associated with terrorists.

Professor Philip Howard of Oxford argues in his study that in the beginning of the Syrian civil war, the government also used bots on social networks — though not for propaganda purposes. When reporters and interested media outside the country, trying to figure out what is really happening in Syria

a botnet has deleted all posts with the hashtag #Syria, not to disseminate information about the opposition on social media.

Bots are not bypassed and Russia. In 2015, the journalist Andrew Malgin published in his LJ entry called "Social networking mourn", which shared several of the same publications in Twitter. They all contained the endorsement of the terrorists who killed the editor of the French publication Charlie Hebdo.

In addition, some users called criminals "to come to Moscow" and to crack down on opposition media, including the "Echo of Moscow" and TV channel "Rain".

Complaints book

The activities of botnets in social networks is not limited to sending fake news and recruiting supporters. They can distribute promotional spam or engage in fraudulent activities posing as subscribers to the user and asking for money or personal information.

In addition, bots can like publications, thereby raising it in line with search results. Head of technical marketing of ESET Russia Alexey Oskin has told "Газете.Ru" that in November 2016, was observed increased activity of the worm, which United the infected routers into a botnet and used it for cheating in social networks.

"So you can, for example, to promote a group in Facebook, followers in Twitter and Instagram. In the end, because of markups affects advertisers who buy advertising for accounts with dead souls," explained Alex.

Some bots are quietly hoarding followers and don't manifest themselves until a certain time, but with the onset of some important socio-political events begin to load the tape info, often exaggerated, that is, so-called stuffing.

The social network Facebook bots can be programmed for administration of complaints of "live" users that may lead to blocking.

In 2015 in connection with events in Ukraine actively blocked the accounts of Pro-Ukrainian activists. In an interview with radio "Freedom" Internet analyst and blogger Anton Nossik said that if a person receives complaint over publication, more than five years, it is likely that these are bots.

In Facebook then a group of "Olginsky bots", which are placed on the report about which activists and thankful. Complaints users have been fabricated, unjustified and was of about the same character: nudity, hate speech, etc. in addition, sent to the ban for "offensive" words "Moskal", "Katsap", "khokhol" and other.

Vyacheslav Kyrgyz


Tags: USA

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