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Der Einfluss von Social Bots auf Wahlen: The Failure of Social Bots Research

Michael Kreil, data  scientist, data  Journalist und open  data  activist, hat untersucht, ob tatsächlich Social Bots Wahlen von Donald Trump und den Brexit beeinflusst haben. Vortrag und Materialien hierzu hat er auf Github zur Verfügung gestellt: The Army that Never Existed: The Failure of Social Bots Research .video, slides, graphics, code, data and links by Michael Kreil. (November 2019) Hierzu untersucht er die Untersuchungen dreier Forschungsgruppen, auf die diese These zurückgehen: Comprop/Oxford: »Computational Propaganda Research Project« of Oxford University, Southern California/Indiana: Work of Emilio Ferrara (University of Southern California) and Alessandro Flammini (Indiana University), Berkeley/Swansea: Work of Oleksandr Talavera and Tho Pham (Swansea University) and Yuriy Gorodnichenko (University of California at Berkeley).

Er kommt zu dem Ergebnis, dass alle drei schwere wissenschaftliche Mängel aufweisen. Insbesondere werden Spam und normale Tweets falsch als politische Social Bots eingeordnet:
„Social Bot research is scientifically inaccurate on all levels.
In the last years the claim that “Social bots influenced elections” has spread widely. This theory can be fully explained by serious scientific mistakes made by researchers.
All the papers about social bots have to be reviewed again and have to be revoked if necessary.
This includes all other research from all other groups that have based their research on these flawed methods.
Do social bots exist? Probably. However, there is no evidence that they exist in large numbers, have influenced elections in any way or caused any other sort of problems.“

Er fordert statt der Schuldzuweisung an Social Bots eine politische Analyse: „Other reasons must be considered as potential causes for the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, the rise of the AfD in Germany and other similar issues: Outdated electoral systems, gerrymandering, the crisis of media, an easier rise of social movements through social media, right-wing narratives, and especially racism as a mass phenomenon are among the contemporary dynamics that should be studied as possible explanations for the main political events of the last years.“