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Understanding Political Manipulation and Botnets - RightsCon

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Understanding Political Manipulation and Botnets - RightsCon

  1. 1. Understanding Political Manipulation and Botnets in Mexico. Carlos Toxtli & Saiph Savage
  2. 2. What type of political botnets exist in Mexico? Mexico has two types of political bots: ● Fake Support Bots ● Fighting Opposition Bots
  3. 3. Fake Support Bots
  4. 4. Fake Support Bots 1. Retweet supporters or online content supporting a political campaign. 2. Coordinate accounts to tweet same hashtag to get it trending and support a cause. 3. Padding Twitter follower count to show support.
  5. 5. Most popular Fake Support Bot: Peña Bots Bots that post content praising the Mexican president: Enrique Peña Nieto.
  6. 6. Fighting Opposition Bots
  7. 7. Fighting Opposition Bots Trolling: Create content that mocks political opposition and organizes collective action to massively mock opposition. Trolling Bots occasionally mocks opposition and call audiences to also help mock. “...Let’s make a hashtag that says #epnSays and let’s make fun of what the president says, let’s make it a TT :)”
  8. 8. Fighting Opposition Bots Fake News. 1. Create a fake news story using some factual truths. 2. Promote fake story with hashtags and fake images. Fake News “This is how the Veracruz Lieutenant Governor left his wife after beating her yesterday.#beatingWivesVer” Story was fake. But bots promoted and shared the story getting also mass media attention.
  9. 9. Fighting Opposition Bots Spamming: Flood hashtags with spam to limit discourse and remove hashtags from trending topics. Spamming hashtags ● People complain using #sobrinaEPN about the president hiring his niece. ● Bots use #sobrinaEPN to post about other things, spam hashtag and remove from TT.
  10. 10. Fighting Opposition Bots Divert Attention. Remove unfavorable hashtags from trending topics list by replacing them with more favorable hashtags. Diverting Attention ● People post about doing rallies against the president with #MarchaAntiEPN ● Bots promote #DiaDePuente to divert attention from unfavorable hashtags.
  11. 11. Fighting Opposition Bots Intimidating Send intimidating messages to politicians and actors they oppose. “I was sent many intimidation messages on Facebook. I will not back-down. It is not about for me. It is about all of us!” Intimidating
  12. 12. Civic Systems to Fight Disinformation
  13. 13. Using Bots to Educate about Fake News 1) Bots automatically detect possible fake news. 2) Bots discuss with citizens possible fake news and helps citizens build critical thinking skills. Fake Real Biased Real Fake This news might be fake. Who do you think benefits from this story?
  14. 14. Botivist 1) Bots recruit citizens to participate in activism and collective action. 2) Bots coordinate and produce collective action with citizens. This news might be fake. Who do you think benefits from this story? What should we do to fight corruption? Please take a picture of your voting booth and report irregularities you see
  15. 15. Bots coordinate collective action with citizens
  16. 16. Thank you! Carlos Toxtli @ctoxtli carlostoxtli.com Saiph Savage @saiphcita www.saiph.org

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