#BotSpot: Sex And Sensibility

A horde of Jane Austen-quoting bots leads to Russian porn sites Background: Some of the many Twitter accounts using the same profile picture (Source: Google). Foreground above: tweet by @keamalao, archived…

#BotSpot: Bots Target Malaysian Elections

17,000 bots target Malaysian opposition party ahead of the General Elections on May 9 (Source: @DFRLab) Ahead of the Malaysian general elections on May 9, Twitter bots launched two hashtag campaigns…

#BotSpot: Obituary of a Botnet

Accounts are created, post thousands of time, and disappear Some of the accounts in the series. (Source: Twitter / @kurikairiku52 through 57.) The life of a Twitter bot is an increasingly…

#BotSpot: A Botnet Is Born

We catch the moment that a probable botnet is created Accounts followed by @Alexand25013733 as of January 9, 2018, when it was archived. This account was created on January 8, 2018….

#BotSpot: How Bot-Makers Decorate Bots

Tracing the mind games of those who create fake accounts (Source: Twitter) When the world’s social media giants meet to discuss the most interesting jobs available online, creating fake accounts is…

Russian Trolls Target British MPs

Online abuse from pro-Russian, and apparently Russian, accounts On December 21, the British parliament is to debate Russian interference in the United Kingdom’s democratic processes. Ahead of the debate, it was…

Putin’s Online Cheerleaders

The “patriots” behind pro-Kremlin, anti-Morgan Freeman memes On October 7, a group of self-declared Russian “patriots” celebrated President Vladimir Putin’s birthday by launching a hashtag on social media. As the BBC…

#BotSpot: Bots Boost NFL Divides

Identifying botnets amplifying #TakeAKnee and #BoycottNFL On September 27, U.S. Senator James Lankford said Russian-linked internet trolls and bots were amplifying Twitter posts on both sides of the controversy surrounding…