Nearly half 'reopen America' Twitter accounts are bots: report - 2020-05-22
As parts of the US have lifted shutdown orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, there's been a fierce argument online about the risks and benefits of reopening. New research suggests that bots have been dominating that debate.
Carnegie Mellon University researchers analyzed over 200 million tweets discussing COVID-19 and related issues since January and found that roughly half the accounts — including 62% of the 1,000 most influential retweeters — appeared to be bots, they said in a report published this week.
That's a far higher level of bot activity than usual, even when it comes to contentious events — the level of bot involvement in discussions about things like US elections or natural disasters is typically 10% to 20%.