Tags: Brexit | brexit | twitter | bots | election meddling | european union

Study: 8 of 10 Brexit-Focused Twitter Accounts Likely Bots

a man holds a smart phone with the twitter app opening and covering his screen
(Andrew Matthews/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 May 2019 06:29 PM

The far majority of Twitter accounts that promote Great Britain's withdrawal from the European Union show signs of being bots, according to new research.

British tabloid The Mirror published the findings of an Institute for Strategic Discourse study, which concluded eight of the 10 most active Twitter accounts that talk about Brexit are likely bots.

Of those 10, five were posting in excess of 144 tweets per day.  One of the accounts, the third most active one in terms of the number of tweets, posts an average of 648 times every day on the social media platform.

The report did not mention the individual Twitter accounts by username.

Jacob Davey of the Institute for Strategic Discourse told The Mirror his organization found several signs that indicated there could be bots involved in sharing and promoting the Brexit content.

"When we looked more closely at the social media accounts mentioning the [Brexit] Party we noticed that the majority were behaving strangely — the content was being posted at a massive rate, and the 'people' sharing didn't look like real people at all," he said.

"This suggests that the accounts might be automated in some way, and are acting like bots. This is important — as it points to the fact that the Brexit Party's great online performance is in part being driven by dodgy tactics."

Davey called the situation "dangerous."

The British public voted in June 2016 to leave the European Union, but the process of doing so has stalled because lawmakers in London cannot agree on an exit plan. The deadline to have a plan in place was recently extended amid infighting and disagreements within British Parliament.

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Support for Great Britain's withdrawal from the European Union on Twitter is largely showing signs of being bots, new research suggests.
brexit, twitter, bots, election meddling, european union
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2019-29-21
Tuesday, 21 May 2019 06:29 PM
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