Samantha Bradshaw spoke to PBS for a story on Russian influence in the 2016 US presidential election.
Since the election, there has been a shift away from completely automated, bot accounts and a move toward “cyborg” accounts that are half human, half bot, according to Samantha Bradshaw, a researcher with the Computational Propaganda Project at Oxford University. These accounts combine automated activity with human input, occasionally posting an original comment or responding to a message.
“That makes it really hard to tell if an account is a bot and then therefore take it down,” she added.
According to experts, what may be most alarming is that stories promoted by Russian-influenced accounts are rarely complete fabrications. Instead, they feed on already brewing fissures and conflict, like the NFL anthem controversy, and use it to their advantage
Read the full story here.
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.