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Researchers: Nearly Half Of Accounts Tweeting About Coronavirus Are Likely Bots


May 27, 2020

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Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have determined that nearly half of all Twitter accounts spreading messages about the Covid-19 pandemic are likely bots.

The team analyzed more than 200 million tweets discussing the virus since January, and found about 45% were sent by accounts that behave more like computerized bots than humans.

In addition, the researchers identified more than 100 false narratives about the novel coronavirus that bot-controlled accounts are spreading on the platform.

The researchers used a bot-hunter tool to flag accounts that post messages more often than is humanly possible, or which claim to be in multiple countries within a period of a few hours.

Said Carnegie Mellon researcher Kathleen Carley, "We're seeing up to two times as much bot activity as we'd predicted based on previous natural disasters, crises, and elections."

From NPR
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