It’s no secret that governments and political actors now make use of social robots or bots—automated scripts that produce content and mimic real users. Faux social media accounts now spread pro-governmental messages, beef up web site follower numbers, and causeartificial trends. Bot-generated propaganda and misdirection has become a worldwide political strategy.

Robotic lobbying tactics have been deployed in several countries: Russia, Mexico, China, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Azerbaijan, Iran, Bahrain, South Korea, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco. Indeed, experts estimate that bot traffic now makes up over60 percent of all traffic online—up nearly twenty percent from just two years ago.

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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.