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Feature | April 23, 2020

Nearly 50% of Twitter Accounts Talking About Coronavirus Might Be Bots

By Kathleen M. Carley (Minerva)

According to new research from Minerva-funded researcher, Kathleen M. Carley and her research team at Carnegie Mellon University, nearly 50% of “people” talking about coronavirus pandemic on Twitter are not actually people, but bots. The Carnegie Mellon team was able to identify more than 100 false narratives relating to coronavirus worldwide. The team relied on a “bot hunter” tool that they developed, which uses artificial intelligence to process account information from users on Twitter and to determine who is or who isn’t a bot. Carley’s findings, which will be presented in an upcoming paper, are in keeping with reports that China and Russia have launched massive disinformation campaigns around the coronavirus pandemics directed at the U.S.