New York Times: A Bot That Makes Trump’s Tweets Presidential. “With a single burst of tweets, President Trump can fire and hire a chief of staff, bar transgender soldiers from the military and undercut negotiations with foreign nations. It’s ‘diplomacy by tweeting,’ said Russel Neiss, a software engineer for an educational technology nonprofit.”
Bloomberg: Twitter Is Crawling With Bots and Lacks Incentive to Expel Them. “On Wednesday, the exterior of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters bore an eerie message: ‘Ban Russian Bots.’ Someone— the company doesn’t know who— projected the demand onto the side of its building. Bots, or automated software programs, can be programmed to periodically send out messages on the internet. Now Twitter is scrambling to explain how bots controlled by Russian meddlers may have been used to impact the 2016 president election.”
Washington Post: We’ve created a Twitter bot that provides hourly updates on the situation in Puerto Rico. “On Wednesday we added a new tool: A Twitter account, @pr_recovery. Every hour, when our system checks status.pr for new data, the account will tweet an update on the efforts on the island. Each hour we’ll include numbers on power and water access; on other hours, we’ll add in other figures, too, such as the extent of phone coverage or bus service.”
The Next Web: Chatbots are here to stay, what the data is telling us about the people that use them. “By now it should be of no surprise that chatbots are starting to become way more mainstream than they were ten, even five, years ago. Chatbots are popping up for everything. Heck, there’s even a chatbot now from Imperson that lets you follow along with Steve Aoki on his new tour and chat it up with his bot. It seems there is a conversational UI for almost everything, and if there is a place without them, you can guarantee someone is out there trying to figure out a way to implement one.”
McClatchy: Russian propaganda engaged U.S. vets, troops on Twitter and Facebook, study finds. “Russia has exploited social media networks to target current and former U.S. military personnel with propaganda, conspiracy theories and other misinformation, achieving ‘significant and persistent interactions’ over Twitter during a one-month period last spring, a British research team found.”
CEPA: What To Expect When You’re Expecting Bots. “Late last week, NATO’s Strategic Center of Excellence in Latvia released an illuminating report on ‘robotrolling.’ The findings are worth considering. Its authors report that two of every three Twitter users writing in the Russian language about NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe are ‘bot’ or robotic accounts. (Robotic trolling or ‘robotrolling’ is the coordinated use of fake accounts on social media). The high number is partially explained by the fact that Russian-language bots mostly repost traditional pro-Kremlin media content that is controlled by the state. ‘By implication, even automatically generated Russian news-spam echoes state-sanctioned content,’ said the report, which surveyed 32,000 tweets mentioning NATO and at least one of the following countries—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland—between 1 March and 30 August 2017.”
Poynter: The ultimate guide to bust fake tweeters: A video toolkit in 10 steps. “This video toolkit is intended to help you debunk dubious tweets. It was first developed in research by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the Arena Program at the London School of Economics to detect Russian social media influence during the German elections. It was also the basis for a related BuzzFeed article on a Russian bot farm and tweets about the AfD — the far-right party that will enter the German parliament for the first time. But first: Where do these bots come from?” Lots of text in addition to the video, REALLY extensive.