About two-thirds of Americans have heard about social media bots. Many are concerned that bots are used maliciously and negatively affect how well-informed Americans are about current events.
On Twitter, suspected bots are far more active in sharing links to news sites focusing on nonpolitical content than to sites with a political focus.
For a recent study on automated accounts and Twitter, we had to answer a fundamental question: Which accounts are bots and which accounts aren’t? Read a Q&A with Stefan Wojcik, a computational social scientist at the Center and one of the report’s authors, on how he and his colleagues navigated this question.
The Pew Research Center set out to better understand how many of the links being shared on Twitter are being promoted by bots rather than humans. Our analysis found that an estimated two-thirds of tweeted links to popular websites are posted by automated accounts – not human beings.
Read key findings and watch a video about our new study on how bot accounts affect the mix of content on Twitter.
An estimated two-thirds of tweeted links to popular websites are posted by automated accounts – not human beings.