Twitter #Bots Are Spreading #Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories -
Nearly Half of Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories on Twitter Are Coming From Bots- Rolling Stone
As part of the study, researchers analyzed nearly 200 million tweets since January referring to the coronavirus. It looked for specific markers that typically identify bots, such as whether they tweet multiple times in a short period, or copy-paste text from other tweets. The team found more than 100 false narratives and conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 that were perpetuated by bots, such as the idea that 5G wireless towers are spreading the virus, or that the virus was created in a lab in Wuhan, China.
What is surprising is the degree to which bots are flooding the platforms: As Carley told MIT Technology Review, typically bots comprise about 10% to 20% of the disinformation campaign activity. The COVID-19 pandemic appears to pose a unique opportunity for bad actors to spread false information.