An anonymous reader writes:
During the first U.S. presidential debate, “automated accounts were tweeting messages with hashtags associated with the candidates. For example, #makeamericagreatagain or #draintheswamp for Trump; #imwithher for Clinton,” according to TechNewsWorld. They cite researchers at PoliticalBots.org, who “found that one-third of all tweets using pro-Trump hashtags were created by bots and one-fifth of all Clinton hashtags were generated by automated accounts.”
In addition, “Political actors and governments worldwide have begun using bots to manipulate public opinion, choke off debate, and muddy political issues… We know for a fact that Russia, as a state, has sponsored the use of bots for attacking transnational targets… We’ve had cases in Mexico, Turkey, South Korea and Australia. The problem is that a lot of people don’t know bots exist, and that trends on social media or even online polls can be gamed by bots very easily.”
After the second presidential debate, “Pro-Clinton bots ‘fought back’,” reported the BBC, adding that they were still outnumbered by the Trump bots.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.