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Episode Markers
  • 00:10
     
    #common on social media   
    They're in our homes, they're on our phones, and they're common on social media platforms like Twitter.
  • 00:17
     
    #two-thirds of tweeted links   
    Pew Research Center estimates that as much as two-thirds of tweeted links to popular websites are generated by bots, not humans.
  • 00:33
     
    #a bot is a software application   
    Broadly speaking, a bot is a software application that can complete automated tasks, often replacing the need for humans to do them.
  • 00:60
     
    #act with malicious intent   
    And then, there may be bots that act with malicious intent, trying to spread misinformation or sow confusion.
  • 01:21
     
    #sample set details   
    sample set details To measure how pervasive bots are in sharing links to external sites on Twitter, 1.2 million English-language tweets containing links using Twitter's streaming API over a 47-day period in the summer of 2017.
  • 01:38
     
    #what kind of content   
    We wanted to know both how many of these links were shared by bot accounts and what kind of content bots were sharing.
  • 02:07
     
    #classification problem   
    First, classifying a million tweets by hand takes a long time. classification problem in supervised machine learning.
  • 02:19
     
    #Botometer   
    So, in order to determine which of the accounts in our sample were, we turned to a tool called Botometer.
  • 02:51
     
    #choosing a threshold score   
    But researchers like ourselves are the ones to decide where to draw the line between human and bot by choosing a threshold score.
  • 03:14
     
    #methodology section   
    By the way, you can see all of these tests in the methodology section of our report -- http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/04/09/bots-in-the-twittersphere/.
  • 03:31
     
    #content bots shared   
    And overall, bots were most likely to share links to sites that focused on sports or adult content.content bots shared

How did Pew Research Center identify Twitter bots?

In the context of ongoing debates over the role and nature of bots, Pew Research Center set out to better understand how many of the links being shared on Twitter are being promoted by bots rather than humans. Our analysis found that an estimated two-thirds of tweeted links to popular websites are posted by automated accounts – not human beings. For more information, read our full report: http://www.pewresearch.org/twitterbots






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