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NextGen Magazine


Study: 45 Percent of Coronavirus Posts on Twitter Likely Bots

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
May 22, 2020

A study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University looked at more than 200 million tweets discussing the coronavirus since January and found that 45 percent of them come from accounts with behavior highly consistent with AI bots, said NPR.

Suspected bot accounts are those that tweet more than is humanly possible or claim to be in multiple countries within a few hours' period. Researchers also looked at how often a user is mentioned on the platform as another part of determining if someone is a bot. A large portion of these suspected bot accounts were posting about long-debunked conspiracy theories that 5G cell towers were causing the pandemic, or that hospitals were using dummies to make them seem more full.

While the researchers said the suspect bots' behavior seems right out of what they said was the Chinese or Russian "playbook," they said it would take many more hours and resources to substantiate these suspicions.