Report reveals Baltic 'bot' barrage

The NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Riga (STRATCOMCOE) has produced a report suggesting a large amount of social media traffic in the Baltic states, in both Russian and English, is produced by automatically-operated accounts or 'bots'.

The report, titled Robotrolling, says that two-thirds of Twitter users writing in Russian about the NATO presence in Eastern Europe are bots, and generate 84% of Russian-language tweets.

One in four English-language accounts are "likely automated" and generate almost half (46%) of all English-language content, the report adds, based on tweets that mention both NATO and a regional country.

Despite the high proportion of bot activity, mostly it generated "apolitical spam", and in an eye-catching phrase the authors state "the polluted state of Twitter conversations about the NATO presence may be indicative of Twitter as a whole," though a precise definition of what constitutes "pollution" in the context of social media is not stated.

You can read the whole report HERE, which the Center says will be the first in a regular series.



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