Should we agree to disagree about Twitter's bot problem?

Varol, Onur (2023) Should we agree to disagree about Twitter's bot problem? Online Social Networks and Media, 37-38 . ISSN 2468-6964

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Bots, simply defined as accounts controlled by automation, can be used as a weapon for online manipulation and pose a threat to the health of platforms. Researchers have studied online platforms to detect, estimate, and characterize bot accounts. Concerns about the prevalence of bots were raised following Elon Musk's bid to acquire Twitter. In this work, we want to stress that crucial questions need to be answered in order to make a proper estimation and compare different methodologies and definitions based on behaviors and activities; otherwise the real questions concerning the health of online platforms will be confounded by disagreements about definitions and models. We argue how assumptions on bot-likely behavior, the detection approach, and the population inspected can affect the estimation of the percentage of bots on Twitter. Finally, we emphasize the responsibility of platforms to be vigilant, transparent, and unbiased in dealing with threats that may affect their users.
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Online manipulation; Social bots; Social media; Twitter
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Depositing User: Onur Varol
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2023 14:32
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2023 14:32

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