During the third and final presidential debate of the 2016 election, Twitter was flooded with jokes about nasty women and bad hombres. Political pundits, both professional and amateur, battled it out on the field of ideas—which, at this point in the national political discourse, consisted of a lot of juvenile name-calling. It was alternatively chaotic and inspiring, soul-crushingly horrible and a window into the very beating heart of American democracy.
Mainly, it was full of robots programmed to send out a stream of messages with a single, unified goal: helping Republican nominee Donald Trump become president of the United States.
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.