Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Automation, algorithms, and politics| bots and political influence: a sociotechnical investigation of social network capital

Murthy, Dhiraj, Powell, Alison B., Tinati, Ramine, Anstead, Nick, Carr, Leslie, Halford, Susan and Weal, Mark (2016) Automation, algorithms, and politics| bots and political influence: a sociotechnical investigation of social network capital. International Journal of Communication, 10 . pp. 4952-4971. ISSN 1932-8036

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1405Kb) | Preview

Abstract

This study explains how bots interact with human users and influence conversational networks on Twitter. We analyze a high-stakes political environment, the UK general election of May 2015, asking human volunteers to tweet from purpose-made Twitter accounts—half of which had bots attached—during three events: the last Prime Minister’s Question Time before Parliament was dissolved (#PMQs), the first leadership interviews of the campaign (#BattleForNumber10), and the BBC Question Time broadcast of the same evening (#BBCQT). Based on previous work, our expectation was that our intervention would make a significant difference to the evolving network, but we found that the bots we used had very little effect on the conversation network at all. There are economic, social, and temporal factors that impact how a user of bots can influence political conversations. Future research needs to account for these forms of capital when assessing the impact of bots on political discussions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://ijoc.org/
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors © CC BY NC ND 4.0
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2016 08:08
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/68550/

Actions (login required)

Record administration - authorised staff only Record administration - authorised staff only

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics