Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | Mass Shootings | Media Bias | Russia | bots | twitter

Russian Bots Flooded Twitter on Gun Control After Shooting

Russian Bots Flooded Twitter on Gun Control After Shooting

By    |   Monday, 19 February 2018 10:05 PM

Russian bots flooded Twitter in the immediate aftermath of last week's deadly high school shooting in Florida to spread gun control messages, according to a new report.

The New York Times reported Monday that bot Twitter accounts with ties to Russia began posting tweets with various gun control hashtags after a gunman shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday.

Examples of the hashtags used were #guncontrolnow, #gunreformnow, and #Parklandshooting. The Times noted some of the Twitter accounts contained messages related to the Russia investigation before the shooting.

"This is pretty typical for them, to hop on breaking news like this," New Knowledge chief executive Jonathon Morgan told the Times. The company keeps track of and identifies fake social media accounts, fake news, and propaganda campaigns.

"The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans. Almost systematically."

Another report last week claimed Russian bots were posting pro-gun tweets after the shooting as well.

The Department of Justice announced last Friday that 13 Russians and three Russian companies were indicted for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election via disinformation campaigns. According to the 37-page indictment, the Russian agents tried to create chaos in the U.S. and did not favor one side or the other in the election.

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Russians bots flooded Twitter with gun control messages and hashtags after the Florida school shooting, according to The New York Times.
bots, twitter, social media, florida, school shooting
Monday, 19 February 2018 10:05 PM
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