August 28, 2017  |  Updated May 22, 2018

#BotSpot: Twelve Ways to Spot a Bot

By Ben Nimmo

“Bots” — automated social media accounts which pose as real people — have a huge presence on platforms such as Twitter. They number in the millions; individual networks can number half a million linked accounts.

These bots can seriously distort debate, especially when they work together. They can be used to make a phrase or hashtag trend, as @DFRLab has illustrated here; they can be used to amplify or attack a message or article; they can be used to harass other users.

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