All the sessions from Transform 2021 are available on-demand now. Watch now.
While anyone who has spent time on Twitter knows it’s full of automated accounts, a report from the Pew Research Center sheds new light on the degree to which bots dominate the conversation on the social media platform.
According to the Pew study, a whopping 66 percent of tweeted links to the web’s most popular sites are shared by bots. Pew researchers compiled a list of the 2,315 most popular sites and then analyzed 1.2 million tweets that included links to those sites over a six-week period.
“The results illustrate the pervasive role that automated accounts play in disseminating links to a wide range of prominent websites on Twitter,” the report says.
The finding comes as Twitter continues to deal with terrorists, harassment, and hate speech that has turned the service into a cesspool. Meanwhile, the company has been trying to attract new users and gain the confidence of advertisers.
But the bot study is a reminder that a large portion of what happens on Twitter is simply machines talking to machines. The study found that with the bots, 500 of the most active tweet 22 percent of the links to news sites.
One other interesting note: The researchers did not detect a notable political bias in the bots. Instead, the bots mostly seemed to be tweeting at fairly neutral new sites.
VentureBeatVentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
- up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
- our newsletters
- gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
- networking features, and more