Bots run amok on Twitter

New research suggests that up to 15% of all active Twitter accounts are bots, many of which exhibit human-like behaviour.

A study by the University of Southern California said a growing amount of social media content is generated by bots.

The study leveraged over 1,000 features extracted from public data and metadata about users: friends, tweet content and sentiment, network patterns, and activity time series.

“Our estimates suggest that between 9% and 15% of active Twitter accounts are bots,” said the researchers.

Analysis of content flows revealed retweet and mention strategies adopted by bots to interact with different target groups.

“Using clustering analysis, we characterise several subclasses of accounts, including spammers, self-promoters, and accounts that post content from connected applications.”

Now read: Twitter launches new filtering options

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Bots run amok on Twitter