What's Up With All Those Trump Twitter Bots?

Author

01 June, 2017

Rather than humans, they are robotic networks - known as bots - created to look like human followers but actually just computerized accounts.

But the real issue with the president and Twitter - that is, in addition to his actual tweets - is the thousands of fake accounts the president now has, many being added in just the past few days. But Mande isn't the only user who's hip to this platform-building cheat; apparently, there's a chance Donald Trump-or, at the very least, whoever manages his account-recently caught on to this way of goosing his stats. If you're still curious, you can enter Trump's handle, @realDonaldTrump, into Twitter Audit, a service that assesses the authenticity of one's followers, and find that only 51 percent of Trump's are real. Or is he simply trying to catch up with Barack Obama's impressive 89 million followers - of which 79 per cent are real?

When Trump was still running for president in April 2016, the stats website fivethirtyeight.com estimated that eight percent of his followers were fake.

Automated Twitter bots are turning into a campaign tool to sway elections, swamping social media with fake news or messages and retweeting anything a candidate posts to suggest a landslide following. We're talking about an even sadder group: Twitter bots that POTUS could have purchased to boost his social media following!

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During the 2016 presidential race, USA authorities say, Russian Federation used robotic-like computer commands to dramatically widen the reach of news stories - some fictional - that favored Trump's presidential bid and were detrimental to that of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Most of the President's social media following (31 million strong) doesn't seem to mind when he tweets made up words or alternative facts - probably because they're non-voting, non-thinking robots. In some cases, an Oxford University study of MI voters found, recipients received more messages carrying "junk" social media tweets than they did legitimate news.

But first, a note about Trump's Twitter habits this month. In the age we live in, followers are power. According to archives, it has taken Trump since the beginning of March to gain a total of 5 million new followers.


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