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Trolls, tweets and famous friends: the vicious PR war between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard

This weekend a report by Bot Sentinel, a group that uses artificial intelligence to detect and track troll bots and allegedly untrustworthy Twitter accounts, has been made public that exposes the use of an autonomous bot which posted the phrase “Fire her from all her rolls[sic] blacklist this crazy liar”, while another read “I am starting a petition. To get Amber Heard blacklisted from Hollywood!” More >>

The Guardian (Jul 26, 2020)

Deppheads wage cyberwar on Amber Heard

Kaplan Hecker & Fink, a New York law firm, asked Bot Sentinel, a group that uses artificial intelligence to detect and track troll bots and allegedly untrustworthy Twitter accounts, to assess tweets aimed at Heard. It was specifically asked to investigate whether the actress “had been a victim of an ongoing targeted harassment and smear campaign”. The authors of the report claimed to have “identified 13 active inauthentic accounts” that had been recently created “specifically to target the Twitter account of Ms Heard”. More >>

Times of London (Jul 25, 2020)

Researchers: Bots are spreading conspiracy theories about #blacklivesmatter

The bot-tracking site Bot Sentinel found “an uptick in inauthentic activity by accounts that were already active and also new accounts created over the past several days,” founder and CEO Christopher Bouzy told Digital Trends in an email. Most of the accounts were promoting disinformation campaigns and conspiracy theories, including such false assertions that billionaire George Soros was funding the protests and that the killing of George Floyd — whose death at the hands of a police officer sparked the protests — was a hoax. “Disinformation is spread on both sides of the political spectrum, but regarding the protests, it is overwhelmingly one-sided and targeted toward Trump supporters and Conservatives,” Bouzy wrote. More >>

Digital Trends (Jun 03, 2020)

Twitter’s misinformation problem will never disappear as long as bots exist

Christopher Bouzy, creator of Bot Sentinel, told Digital Trends. “Inauthentic accounts are sharing and amplifying this stuff 24/7, and millions of legitimate users are exposed to this stuff. First, nefarious individuals usually buy old accounts on the black market. These accounts are mostly abandoned hacked accounts, or accounts created years ago for some other purpose and are no longer needed. Then these accounts are made to look like something they are not. It can be a supporter of a candidate, a BLM activist, or any other countless personas.” More >>

Digital Trends (May 04, 2020)

How Hollywood Weaponizes Fake News For Cash, And The 3 Kinds Of Fake News

The challenge is that technology enables extremely rapid spread. It’s why Facebook has limited WhatsApp message forwarding, so that technology doesn’t aid in the rapid spread of potentially dangerous messages, like WhatsApp-organized mob killings in India. And it’s something we’re dealing with right now, as Bot Sentinel found: bots are using hashtags like #ReOpenNC, #ReopenAmericaNow, #StopTheMadness, #ENDTHESHUTDOWN, and #OperationGridlock to spread disinformation. More >>

Forbes (May 04, 2020)