On the morning of November 9, 2016, the world woke up to the shocking outcome of the U.S. Presidential election: Donald Trump was the 45th President of the United States of America. An unexpected event that still has tremendous consequences all over the world. Today, we know that a minority of social bots—automated social media accounts mimicking humans—played a central role in spreading divisive messages and disinformation, possibly contributing to Trump's victory.16,19
In the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. elections, the world started to realize the gravity of widespread deception in social media. Following Trump's exploit, we witnessed to the emergence of a strident dissonance between the multitude of efforts for detecting and removing bots, and the increasing effects these malicious actors seem to have on our societies.27,29 This paradox opens a burning question: What strategies should we enforce in order to stop this social bot pandemic?