We found millions and millions of Russian Twitter Bots—and this is just the start. In our six-month project we discovered:
> Thousands of accounts, which we’ve tracked
> Where bots originate
> How they are modified
> How they get from Russia into both Left and Right political accounts
> Who is helping them spread this chaos
There is no way for Twitter to walk this one back. It’s impossible to believe the platform doesn’t know. So, what is going on?
Given that the fake accounts act as a shell, they can be weaponized within minutes with a few, simple changes to the profile. Yet, Twitter allows accounts almost completely saturated with these fakes to remain, unfettered, on the platform.
These accounts need to get off Twitter.
So Many Russian Twitter Bots
Let’s start right here. You’re not going to believe this. This Russian account has 99% Fake Followers. So, this account has 61,000 fake accounts out of 61,675 followers. It’s almost entirely bots!
Here is a sample of the account’s followers. It’s staggeringly obvious; anyone can see it. It’s curious that Twitter hasn’t.
This account has 95% fake followers, which is 1.1 million bots.
Worse, it only follows 8 accounts but is followed by 1.2 million!
We found these accounts weeks before midterms. Weeks before midterms and Twitter had accounts with over 1 million Russian bots in them?
How about this account—92% fake followers, 1.4 million bots.
It only follows 1 account, yet it is followed by 1.5 million accounts! Doesn’t Twitter owe its users more than this?
And we are just getting started.
@KermlinRussia—Really? God forbid, don’t look at an account with this handle. This account has 90% fake followers, 1.6 million bots.
It only follows 2,573 accounts but is followed by 1.8 million.
Let’s just guess that the Twitter Users on Service Numbers aren’t even close to real.
The hits keep coming. Another account—87% fake followers, 1.6 million bots.
It only follows 321 accounts but is followed by 1.6 million! When Jack said that cleaning up his platform was a priority, did he have a time-frame?
Let’s keep going. This account has 85% fake followers with 1.2 million bots.
It only follows 33 accounts, but it has 1.2 million accounts following it!
Hell, one might think that these Russian accounts with crazy-high followings would be closely scrutinized. No?
This account has 83% fake followers with over 987,000 bots.
It only follows 2 accounts but is followed by 1.2 million!
These numbers are off the charts. 80% fake followers. 2 million bots.
This account only follows 1 account, yet it is followed by 2.5 million!
How did Twitter not see this? Or, better question—why didn’t they remove these obviously bad accounts?
It actually gets worse?
This account has 80% fake followers with 2.3 million bots.
It only follows 45 accounts but is followed by 2.9 million!
This account has 79% fake followers with 1.2 million bots.
It only follows 98 accounts but is followed by 1.5 million!
Why wouldn’t Twitter systematically scour accounts looking for ones that fit these ratios?
Check out these numbers: 77% fake followers, 2.6 million bots.
This account is only following 4 accounts but is being followed by 3.3 million! Are you kidding me?
We finish this list with this account: 76% fake followers, 1.2 million bots.
It only follows 14 accounts but is being followed by 1.5 million accounts!
In just a few accounts we have found almost 20 million Russian bots minus duplicates. And we have found so much more. This is the tip of the iceberg.
Make no mistake. Twitter is overrun with fake accounts. The numbers are startling. Users see it in their timelines—bad accounts being amplified; good accounts being crushed.
After the Mueller Report and what we now know about the 2016 elections—and yet, it is so much worse. Why? I know what I think.
We need to demand that Twitter keeps its promise to keep us safe.
Stay tuned. It gets crazier from here.
Read Part II here.
For information on how to spot a bot, see our Bot Tutorial.
Written by Unhackthevote