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Dooley deplores ‘Twitterbots’ phenomenon

Social media companies have been called upon by a local TD to take a more proactive role in guarding against the misuse of their platforms. Deputy Timmy Dooley’s call comes in the wake of further revelations regarding the role of social media in political discourse and elections. Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action & Environment has highlighted the scourge of so-called “Twitterbots”, which are essentially computer programmes used to generate tens or hundreds of fake Twitter accounts, which are then used to promote certain content on the platform. “Twitterbots have become an extremely disturbing phenomenon – a recent study from the University of Southern California and Indiana University suggesting that there may be up to 48 million of these accounts active on Twitter. That’s about 15% of the overall number of Twitter users worldwide, so there is no way that Twitter is unaware of this issue”, said Deputy Dooley. “A person or group can quite easily run a computer …

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