Congress is investigating how Twitter bots may have influenced the US election
Robert Gorwa spoke to Quartz about the Senate’s investigation into Twitter and bots during the 2016 US Presidential election.
Twitter executives will be grilled tomorrow morning (Sept. 28) on Capitol Hill by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is probing Russia’s meddling in the US presidential election.
The main focus of the questioning will be automated Twitter accounts, a.k.a. bots, and whether Twitter is doing enough to curb the ones that are spreading propaganda and misinformation, one person briefed on the committee’s preparations told Quartz.
“There a universal appreciation that bots are becoming problematic on Twitter,” Robert Gorwa, a researcher with the Project on Computational Propaganda at the Oxford Internet Institute, told Quartz. “What isn’t appreciated is how much Twitter has enabled this by encouraging automation.” Twitter’s developer policies tell users how to use automation and the company provide guides on how to use bots to spread messages, he noted.
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