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
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