Prof. Simon Hegelich exposes social bots at the Bavarian School of Public Policy
The influence of software robots on politics
Social bots create the impression of being a genuine person by hiding behind attractive profile pictures, posting and tweeting everyday messages, and commenting on music and sports. In between, they disseminate political propaganda.
When entire networks of bots are at work, they have the capacity to manipulate trends in social networks and influence sentiments. This gives them a vast potential for influencing political opinion and concrete political elections.
Simon Hegelich, Professor of Political Data Science, has exposed several social bot networks which aim to influence politics, for instance in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. He sees democracy at risk.