Up until now, Russian and other foreign bots have been chummy with Trump and the GOP on social media, with "nearly half of the president’s followers appearing to be fake or spam accounts," according to Newsweek.
But over the last 48 hours, these bots have begun to change their tune. According to Newsweek:
Russian-linked bots and trolls have caused a surge in use of the hashtag #ResignPaulRyan on Twitter over the last 48 hours, just as the Republican speaker of the House was returning to his hometown of Wisconsin for a month-long respite from Washington, D.C.
A monitoring dashboard established by the Alliance [German Marshall Fund’s Alliance For Securing Democracy] noted the uptick Monday morning. It coincided with surges in the use of other hashtags by Russian bots, including #TrumpTV, #Magnitsky, #Fake and #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinion.
It hasn’t been a common occurrence for the Alliance’s dashboard to pick up on Russian bot activity targeting members of the GOP since the site was first launched last week by former FBI special agent Clint Watts. But Ryan wasn’t the only member of Trump’s party to face countless bots demanding his removal. A campaign calling on the president to fire National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster received widespread support from bots and trolls over the last several days using the hashtag #FireMcMaster, eventually getting picked up by some right-wing fake news sites that seem to have the president’s full attention, including Breitbart.
Nice time to go on a 17-day vacation.
Jesselyn Cook noticed that a site called NewsBuzzr had ripped off one of her stories at Huffington Post. It turned out to be some kind of awful plagiarism bot that uses a thesaurus to avoid detection as duplicate content, resulting in hilariously mangled prose. Cook calls it “truly excellent “Florida Male” content” and I hope […]
Airhelp is a service that helps airline passengers in 30 countries file claims (for delays, lost bags, overbookings, and cancellations) structured to increase the likelihood of paying out; the bots have made $930m in successful claims to date, and the company behind it only collects a commission when a claim succeeds.
Just days before the horrific mass murder at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, my Institute for the Future colleagues Sam Woolley and Katie Joseff published a deeply upsetting study on how social media bots and computational propaganda are being used to instigate and amplify anti-semitism online and manipulate public opinion. From the paper: This report […]
If you’re part of the maker community, you know Make:. Though Make: magazine is off the shelves as of this year, the eBooks and resources put out by Maker Media are still a fantastic resource for the new generation of tinkerers, hackers, and robotics geeks. If you’re in that tribe, listen up: they’ve released a […]
Life isn’t getting any less hectic, and pressure cookers are a quick, healthy solution for a growing number of kitchens. But if you thought your Instant Pot was versatile, there’s a major upgrade on the market: The Yedi 9-in-1 Total Package Instant Programmable Pressure Cooker. If you’ve somehow never used a pressure cooker before, try […]
When it comes to data analytics or deep learning, there’s one language behind the apps and algorithms that power the biggest companies of today: Python. The best part about this tool is that as versatile as it is, it’s actually fairly easy to learn. But mastery? For that, you need more than just a beginners’ […]