I am a supporter of gun rights. But, some who want to stir up trouble, have a flood of bots to hit social media after the recent shooting.
EACH NEW BREAKING news situation is an opportunity
for trolls to grab attention, provoke emotions, and spread propaganda. The Russian government knows this
. Fake-news manufacturing teenagers in Macedonia
know this. Twitter bot creators know this. And thanks to data-gathering operations from groups like the Alliance for Securing Democracy and RoBhat Labs, the world knows this.
In the wake of Wednesday’s Parkland, Florida school shooting, which resulted in 17 deaths, troll and bot-tracking sites reported an immediate uptick in related tweets from political propaganda bots and Russia-linked Twitter accounts. Hamilton 68
, a website created by Alliance for Securing Democracy, tracks Twitter activity from accounts it has identified as linked to Russian influence campaigns. As of morning, shooting-related terms dominated the site’s trending hashtags and topics, including Parkland, guncontrolnow, Florida, guncontrol, and Nikolas Cruz, the name of the alleged shooter. Popular trending topics among the bot network include shooter, NRA, shooting, Nikolas, Florida, and teacher....
Be careful about the news you see on the shooting. (And, most everything.) There are many who want to control the narrative for their own, unstated, ends. Just because this particular bot net seems to support my position, does not make my position more correct. Just as the bots that are assuredly on the other side don't make that position more correct.
It seems our best skill in this age of lies is to develop many sources of information from many positions on the left/right scale. Ghettoizing our sources of information by only watching/reading those we agree with is a sure way to ride the artificial waves of botinformation out there; and where a particular wave will take you depends on the puppet master behind the bot.