Bots account for nearly half of Twitter accounts spreading coronavirus misinformation, researchers say - 2020-05-21
About half of the Twitter accounts pushing misinformation about COVID-19 and calling for "reopening America" may be bots, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University said Wednesday. The tweets appear to be aiming to sow division and increase polarization during the pandemic.
"Conspiracy theories increase polarization in groups. It's what many misinformation campaigns aim to do," Kahtleen Carley, a computer science professor, said in a statement about the ongoing research. "People have real concerns about health and the economy, and people are preying on that to create divides."
She warned that the misinformation "will have a variety of real-world consequences, and play out in things like voting behavior and hostility towards ethnic groups."