Social Bot - Evolution of a Technology

Dall-E Art

The term “social bot” is commonly used to describe various degrees of automation in social networks by third parties, whether actual or imagined. While the social bot phenomenon was previously used in 2016 and 2017 to explain manipulation in the context of the Brexit referendum or the election of Donald Trump, the term has now also become a buzzword used to discredit discussion partners in public debates. This presentation aims to provide a nuanced examination of the term by discussing the evolution of social bots’ technical properties and capabilities. We highlight the challenges in accurately detecting automation in online media. Additionally, we take a data-driven look at the term “social bot” and the polarization it creates in academia and society.

The presentation was part of a lecture series, initiated by NFDI4Culture and can be accessed here.

Dennis Assenmacher
Dennis Assenmacher

My research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter.