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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)

Trolls and bots are flooding social media with disinformation encouraging states to end quarantine

Christopher Bouzy, the founder of bot tracking platform Bot Sentinel, conducted a Twitter analysis for Business Insider and found bots and trolls are using hashtags like #ReOpenNC, #ReopenAmericaNow, #StopTheMadness, #ENDTHESHUTDOWN, and #OperationGridlock to spread disinformation. According to Bouzy, the bots and trolls are spreading conspiracy theories about Democrats wanting to hurt the economy to make Trump look bad, Democrats trying to take away people's civil liberties, and Democrats trying to prevent people from voting. More >>

Business Insider (Apr 24, 2020)

Random Toxicity? What’s Going on in @benjaminwittes’s Mentions

In the intervening months, I had also become aware of Bot Sentinel, a platform that classifies Twitter accounts based on their tendency to engage in misleading and coordinated behavior—in other words, their penchant to act like a troll on Twitter. More >>

LAWFARE (Feb 28, 2020)