Talk amongst yourselves

Published May 26, 2020

Twitter is abuzz about Covid-19 — no shock there. But a huge portion of that chatter is … bots.

To analyze bot activity around the pandemic, [Carnegie Mellon] researchers since January have collected more than 200 million tweets discussing coronavirus or COVID-19. Of the top 50 influential retweeters, 82% are bots, they found. Of the top 1,000 retweeters, 62% are bots.

What’s the goal? To spread misinformation, of course, especially conspiracy theories “such as hospitals being filled with mannequins or the coronavirus being linked to 5G towers.”

(And yes, there are apparently people out there who believe that hospitals are being filled with mannequins. You know, to fool all those tour groups going through.)

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