Oxford Releases Shocking Findings on 2016 Election & Twitter Bots

Share

While it has become quite apparent that Russia had influenced the 2016 presidential election to some extent, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, still seems to be in denial over any such influence, especially when it’s suggested that such actions helped him win the election. With that said, Oxford University has just released their findings regarding the 2016 election and the Twitter bots which clearly had an impact on the results.

Using 22,117,221 tweets, collected between the dates of November 1-11, 2016, Oxford determined that an organized misinformation campaign by Russia was clearly present on Twitter. Additionally, these campaigns were actually targeted towards the swing states, and states with more electoral votes.

The report found that “when links to Russian content and unverified WikiLeaks stories are added to the volume of junk news, fully 32% of all the successfully catalogued political content was polarizing, conspiracy driven, and of an untrustworthy provenance”.

This content was not shared in a random manner. In fact, much more of the polarizing content was shared by those residing in swing states, or at least those claiming to reside in swing states. Check out the chart below:

Concentration of Polarizing Political Content from Russian, WikiLeaks, and Junk News Sources, Indexed by State (* denotes a swing state) (The higher the number the larger the amount of polarizing material shared per user)

  • North Dakota -0.75
  • Washington D.C. -0.54
  • Iowa* -0.38
  • New York -0.30
  • Wyoming -0.26
  • New Mexico -0.20
  • Nebraska -0.19
  • Rhode Island -0.18
  • Hawaii -0.17
  • Wisconsin* -0.16
  • Minnesota* -0.15
  • Washington -0.14
  • Illinois -0.13
  • Kansas -0.13
  • Connecticut -0.12
  • Utah -0.11
  • Idaho -0.09
  • Mississippi -0.07
  • Alaska -0.07
  • Massachusetts -0.06
  • California -0.03
  • Maine* -0.03
  • Oregon -0.02
  • Louisiana -0.01
  • Colorado* +0.01
  • Ohio* +0.01
  • New Jersey +0.01
  • Maryland +0.03
  • Michigan* +0.05
  • Arkansas +0.05
  • Texas +0.06
  • Georgia* +0.07
  • South Carolina +0.10
  • Vermont +0.10
  • New Hampshire* +0.11
  • Pennsylvania* +0.12
  • Oklahoma +0.14
  • North Carolina* +0.14
  • Virginia* +0.14
  • Florida* +0.16
  • Nevada* +0.18
  • Indiana +0.18
  • Tennessee +0.20
  • Missouri* +0.22
  • Alabama +0.23
  • Arizona* +0.25
  • Kentucky +0.26
  • South Dakota +0.27
  • Delaware +0.35
  • Montana +0.45
  • West Virginia +0.47

Clearly these Russian Twitter bots targeted those who could influence the election results the most, showing that a clear strategy was in play when these bot accounts set out to begin influencing the American electorate. The entire report from Oxford University can be viewed here.

Let’s hear your thoughts on this report in the comments section below.

COMMENTS: