Political bot

Political bots refer to automated social media accounts that are programmed to spread political content and messaging. They work by automatically generating and disseminating posts, tweets, likes, shares, and other engagement at very high volumes to propagate specific political narratives, talking points, and disinformation campaigns.

Unlike authentic human-run accounts, political bots can flood platforms with partisan opinions, smears, propaganda, fake news, and inflammatory content around the clock. They aim to manipulate public discourse by artificially amplifying or repressing political opinions. It is difficult for regular users to discern bots from humans as many are designed to simulate human behavior through strategies like posting at normal frequencies or interacting with other accounts.

There is significant concern about the impacts of uncontrolled political bot activity on democracy and the online information ecosystem. Bots exacerbate tensions, sow confusion, discourage voting, and distort facts on important issues. They can manipulate trends and steering public sentiment. Social media platforms try to detect and shut down harmful bots but have struggled to curb their proliferation and evolving tactics. Strict regulations may be needed to address the threats posed by automated mass-spreading of propaganda and misinformation.