In partnership with Congresso em Foco, the agency monitored over 170,000 bots during an election season littered with fake news
After a presidential race in which social media played a greater role than ever before, and which was dominated by disinformation, fake news, and bots, FCB Brasil is releasing the final numbers from Trending Botics, a tool that monitored political bots on Twitter during the election season and was developed in partnership with the online portal Congresso em Foco. Through this online platform, on a daily basis voters could follow what political topics were being shared by bots passing for real human users, and so discover what messages were being promoted artificially.
The monitoring tool analysed over 130 million tweets and found no less than 173,000 political bots, which posted more than 4.5 million tweets, of which 3.1 million cited or made reference to the recently-inaugurated president.
“The final numbers from the project help give an idea of the reach and degree of influence they have during the electoral process, whether they are sharing fake news or creating artificial engagement with a certain topic,” commented Joanna Monteiro, CCO of FCB Brasil.
According to a study by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation/DAPP, more than 20% of political discussions that took place on social networks in Brazil were started by bots. “These bots manipulate the debate; they present a threat to democracy,” added Joanna.