Science Magazine: Social media ‘bots’ tried to influence the U.S. election. Germany may be next

Science Magazine: Social media ‘bots’ tried to influence the U.S. election. Germany may be next. “On 3 September, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her main opponent Martin Schulz faced off in an election debate that many viewers panned as more of a duet than a duel, a far livelier effort was underway on social media. People on Twitter started using the hashtag #verräterduell, which translates as ‘duel of traitors’ and mirrors the claim by the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland party that both Merkel’s mainstream Christian Democrats and Schulz’s Social Democrats have ‘betrayed’ the country. Yet much of the venom may not have been fueled by angry voters, researchers say. Instead it looks like the work of bots, or fake social media profiles that appear to be connected to human users, but are really driven by algorithms.”