The only ‘Russian bots’ to meddle in US elections belonged to Democrat-linked ‘experts’

US cyber-security experts have blamed Russia for meddling in American elections since 2016. Now it has emerged that authors of a Senate report on ‘Russian’ meddling actually ran a “false flag” meddling operation themselves. A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans […]

Study: It only takes a few seconds for bots to spread misinformation

Enlarge / Visualization of the spread through social media of an article falsely claiming 3 million illegal immigrants voted in the 2016 presidential election. (credit: Filippo Menczer) Shortly after the 2016 election, newly elected President Donald Trump—peeved at losing the popular vote to Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton—falsely claimed he would have won the popular vote […]

Clinton bots more talkative & influential than Trump bots around 2016 debates, study finds

While the popular narrative blames Clinton’s 2016 electoral loss on (Russian) bots, they actually helped her chances, according to a new study finding pro-Clinton bots were more effective at influencing voters than pro-Trump ones. While there were almost twice as many pro-Trump bots in operation before the 2016 election, the pro-Clinton bots were much more […]

‘Hello, Jack’: Iranian FM blasts Twitter for blocking real Iranians as ‘bots’

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has accused Twitter of “shuttering” the accounts of Iranians after misidentifying them as ‘bots’ involved in influence campaigns. “Twitter has shuttered accounts of real Iranians, including TV presenters and students, for supposedly being part of an ‘influence op,’” the minister wrote on Twitter on Sunday. In his post, Zarif […]

How Bots Ruined Clicktivism

As platforms struggle to detect and stop foreign interference in the midterm elections, there’s a thorny complication: many of the tactics used by spammers and trolls are also leveraged by real activists. https://media.wired.com/photos/5b9be4380aec005ccb6743f9/master/pass/Ideas_Renee_Cruz-Bots-FA.jpg

Bots on Amazon’s task service may be souring psych studies

It’s not uncommon for scientists to use Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for research — they can quickly gather survey data in return for a small outlay to participants. Academics are quickly discovering the limits of the task service with the modern bot-happy internet, however. Numerous psychology researchers have reported a sharp rise in the number of […]

Nine Inch Nails skips online ticket sales to fight scalper bots

Nine Inch Nails will not sell tickets online for its just-announced “Cold and Black and Infinite” theater tour this fall. Instead, NIN mastermind Trent Reznor is going old-school in an effort to beat the ticket bots: You’ll have to wait in line at the venue starting. Each person can buy up to four tickets. Why? […]