A study by Pew Research Center has revealed that an estimated two-thirds of tweeted links to popular websites are posted by automated accounts.
The study analysed 2,315 of the most popular websites and examined roughly 1.2 million tweets that included links to these sites.
“The results illustrate the pervasive role that automated accounts play in disseminating links to a wide range of prominent websites on Twitter,” said the Pew Research Center.
The study found that 66% of tweeted links are made by suspected bots, and that a relatively small number of highly active bots are responsible for a significant share of links to prominent news and media sites.
The study did not find evidence that automated accounts have a liberal or conservative “political bias” in their overall link-sharing behaviour.
It said suspected bots share roughly 44% of links to “conservative” political sites and 41% of links to “liberal” political sites.