24 Sep

Networks of robots coordinated the diffusion of political contents

The actions of automated accounts in the political debate on the social networks is a reality in the elections according to an analysis carried out by FGV DAPP with data from August 08 to 13

Updated 25 de September, 2018 at 12:53 pm

The actions of automated accounts in the public debate on the social networks is already a reality in this year’s elections, as indicated by FGV DAPP’s latest studies. In this analysis, from the posts about the 2018 elections and the presidential hopefuls made by automated accounts between August 08 and 13, we observed that these interferences promoted by bots often happen in an articulated and synchronized way, from botnets.

>> Check the complete study in PDF

> The most mentioned candidates were Bolsonaro (PSL) and Lula (PT), with 7.5 thousand and 6.1 thousand mentions. They are followed by Alckmin (PSDB) and Boulos (PSOL), with 2.7 thousand and 2.2 thousand;

> The discourse analysis shows that bots connected to Bolsonaro approached the themes “abortion”, “homophobia” and “racism” to position the candidate and react to the left wing;

> In Lula’s case, the analysis shows the strategy of creating visibility for the then VP candidate, Fernando Haddad, in the “parallel debates” beside the official ones and messages supporting his freedom.

> We also identified three automated account networks (botnets), which coordinated 1,589 publications in total during the period analyzed;

> The biggest of them, composed of 13 accounts, made 1,053 publications related to the electoral debate (5% of the automated publications), with content defending Lula;

> The second network, with 139 automated accounts, was responsible for 291 publications related to the debate (1% of the posts), connected to the names of Lula and Boulos;

> The third network was composed of 16 accounts, which made 245 publications related to the electoral debate (a little over 1%), defending Bolsonaro and Amoedo;

> In the end of August, several days after the #DireitaAmordaçada (“gagged right wing”) movement, there was also a mobilization of #MeSegueNoGab (“follow me on Gab”), aiming to attract followers to the platform;

> The hashtag was mentioned in 19,315 tweets, bringing up the percentage of Brazilian accesses on Gab from 12,2% on August 22 to 27,3% on September 11.