The project’s work into the 2016 US election was covered by CNN.
University researchers who track political activity on Twitter have found that traffic on pro-Trump hashtags was twice as high as pro-Clinton hashtags during the first presidential debate. But the team of academics, led by Oxford University professor Philip Howard, also found that 33% of pro-Trump traffic was driven by bots and highly automated accounts, compared to 22% for Clinton.
Bots are automated social media accounts that interact with other users. Some are able to answer basic questions and serve a customer service function, but they can also be used to spam and harass people.
Note: This post was originally published on the Political Bots research blog on . It might have been updated since then in its original location. The post gives the views of the author(s), and not necessarily the position of the Oxford Internet Institute.