The project’s research into the 2016 US election was covered in Politico.
“The bot nets usually turn whatever the issue is back on Hillary,” said Phil Howard, a professor at Oxford University’s Internet Institute and the principal investigator at the Computational Propaganda Project, which has closely tracked the networks. Howard has noted the same pattern in response to stories about Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, with bots alleging that Clinton is keeping even bigger secrets from the public. “They tend to be used to confused or muddy,” he said.
In addition to fully automated bots, Trump has benefited from the Twitter activities of “trolls,” dedicated, human provocateurs, and “cyborgs,” accounts that blend automated activity with human input.
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.