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The role of bot squads in the political propaganda on Twitter

Social Media are nowadays the privileged channel for information spreading and news checking. Unexpectedly for most of the users, automated accounts, also known as social bots, contribute more and more to this process of news spreading. Using Twitter as a benchmark, we consider the traffic exchanged, over one month of observation, on a specific topic, namely the migration flux from Northern Africa to Italy. We measure the significant traffic of tweets only, by implementing an entropy-based null model that discounts the activity of users and the virality of tweets. Results show that social bots play a central role in the exchange of significant content. Indeed, not only the strongest hubs have a number of bots among their followers higher than expected, but furthermore a group of them, that can be assigned to the same political tendency, share a common set of bots as followers. The retwitting activity of such automated accounts amplifies the presence on the platform of the hubs' messages.

Communication Physics (Nature), 2020

Autori esterni: Guido Caldarelli (IMT), Rocca De Nicola (IMT), Fabio Del Vigna (IMT), Fabio Saracco (IMT)
Autori IIT:

Tipo: Contributo in rivista non ISI
Area di disciplina: Computer Science & Engineering

File: 1905.12687.pdf

Attività: Bolle dell'informazione e rilevamento di falsi in rete