Ravi Singh


Donald Trump Literature Reviews

How Bots Impacted the 2016 US Elections

How Bots Impacted the 2016 US Elections

Bessi, A., & Ferrara, E. (2016). Social bots distort the 2016 U.S. Presidential election online discussion. First Monday, 21(11), 14. doi:10.5210/fm.v21i11.7090

In this journal article, the authors examined how social media bots affected the 2016 United States election conversation among online users. According to the authors, although social media platforms have been extensively lauded for their active role in increasing discussion topics centered around democracy and social issues, these platforms can easily be manipulated to twist online political rhetoric. Consequently, they can damage the public perception of various political parties. Bessi and Ferrara note that social media has the power to inform and misinform the public about important political issues. According to the findings of the author, nearly 400,000 bots were involved in the US presidential election discussions that were powered by Twitter. Since bots are algorithm-driven accounts having no real user operating them, it is clear that they were used to alter the direction of presidential conversations in the 2016 election, something which could have undermined the integrity of the presidential election.  

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