Israeli Firm Discovers ‘Pro-Trump’ Bot Network On Twitter

( – Someone has created thousands of pro-Trump automated digital bots to pump out praise for President Trump. The accounts seem to be offering a lot of praise for 45 as well as criticism for anyone seen as his competition in the Republican primary, including former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The AP was quick to blame Russians by implication, noting that the use of bots is a favored strategy by the Kremlin. They neglected to mention that American intelligence agencies may be getting in on the action or really anyone could be responsible, including China or non-state actors.

The mere perception of pro-Trump bot networks could be damaging to the former president’s re-election bid, should the media spin the story to imply Trump himself is responsible and is ‘meddling in democracy,’ a favorite narrative of theirs since January 6th, 2021.

Curiously the network was detected by an Israeli firm, Cyabra, which shared its findings with the AP. Cyabra couldn’t identify the actors behind the network, but claims they were based in the U.S.

Bot detection involved searching for patterns as to how and what content a user posts. Typical users, non-bots, tend to post about a variety of topics and will share other user content while generating some of their own. Bots tend to post about the same thing over and over again. This particular network seems to consist of three different groups of accounts, all of which were created in 2022. Many of them have pictures of real people and use real names, making them seem more legitimate.

Cyabra detected the accounts by measuring negative posts about particular individuals and searching for keyword phrases. Curiously, however, Cyabra neglected to mention or elaborate on any left-wing bot accounts.

Bots serve a few different purposes, they create a perception that sentiments are more popular than they are in reality. They can also encourage social media algorithms that a hashtag or key phrase is trending, which will increase its visibility depending on which social media platform it’s on. Many accounts are cyborgs or operated by humans some of the time to enhance their originality. Very soon we could see AI-controlled bots with sophisticated chat programs that would make fraudsters very hard to detect.

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