Meet The Private Army That Is Mobilizing For Trump (TWEETS)

There is a private army mobilizing on Twitter to take up for, defend, and promote President Donald Trump. They attack opponents and normal people that post negative comments about Trump in response to his insane tweet-storms. They are stalwart and ready to step in on a moment’s notice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They have a covey of fake news links they are ready to drop on the world in a continuous stream of propaganda born of authoritarian regimes. They are ruthless, vile, and relentless.

Oh — and they’re not real people.

They are Twitter-bots. Computer programmed accounts that usually have nondescript profiles that try to reflect “human” personalities. According to Philip N. Howard of the Oxford Internet Institute, these bots are nothing more than:

“…yelling fools and a lot of what they pass around is fake news.”

In a Newsweek article, the bots are painted as relentless and they:

“continue to invade social media and create chatter at such a rapid speed that the differences are blurred for many users attempting to maintain a grasp on reality in 2017.”

This is not really a new development. The Russian invasion of social media has been underway since as early as 2014. The bots were designed to provide a steady stream of propaganda meant to create confusion. Clint Watts from the George Washington University Center for Cyber and Homeland Security testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in may:

“The Russians have used social media-driven information campaigns to discredit the U.S. for years. Facebook and Twitter remain littered with pro-Russian, Western-looking accounts and supporting automated bots designed to undermine the credibility of the U.S. government.”

People engage with bots all day, every day, and most of them don’t even realize that they are fighting a losing battle. You can’t change a bot’s mind because it doesn’t have one – it only has a programmed algorithm.

So… how do you recognize them?

A wise old sailor you can find on Twitter at @Stonekettle, spent much of the day Monday intentionally engaging a bot so he could point out what to look for and how to distinguish a bot from a real human.

The lessons continued over a several-hours long span and pointed out a lot of salient points and what to look for to determine if you’re engaging with a bot or a live person.

Half the battle is knowing your enemy.


Featured image from YouTube video.