Bots, social networks and politics in Brazil
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New developments in the analysis of FGV DAPP with data on the 2014 elections have shown the use of fake profiles to share content in the campaigns of Aécio Neves (PSDB), Dilma Rousseff (PT) , and Marina Silva (former PSB) . The analysis identified a botnet (bot network) with 699 profiles that shared content from Aécio Neves’s and Marina Silva’s campaigns. From the 699 accounts analyzed, 508 were created in 2 days (August 2 and 3, 2013) and published their last tweet between October 5 and November 2, 2014. During that period, the accounts generated 773.703 publications, an average of 419 publications per user. Some of the accounts are still active when drafting this report. The analysis of the content shared by these profiles showed that, among the most common links, are websites associated with Aécio’s campaign and with the company Storm Security, provider of technology services. Based on the website of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), it was identified that the Aécio Neves’s campaign p aid R$168,000.00 in three installments to Storm Security. An investigation into “bots” that disseminated content of these domains also revealed a pattern of use of images linking them to the Eastern Europe, such as movie characters, places and captions in Russian. Figure 1, on page 9, illustrates a suspicious bot related to Aécio Neves in action. In the case of Dilma, there were searched 16,877 accounts for the links “mudamais.com.br” and “dilma.com.br” . In total, 430 bots shared the link for the Muda Mais website and 79 bots shared Dilma’s website . A TSE decision that granted an injunction pointing the company Digital Polis – owner of the domain dilma.com.br – as the digital arm of Polis Propaganda : “the company that owns www.mudamais.com ”, confirmed the relation between the domain and the campaign. Figure 2, on page 10, illustrates the performance of suspicious bots related to Dilma Rousseff.
- FGV DAPP – Pesquisas