In the first part of our election 2024 story, Cyabra has uncovered a large network of bots manipulating conversations about the elections, promoting pro-Trump agendas, and spreading fake news in a sophisticated, intelligent way which makes it extraordinarily difficult to identify the content as being created by bots.
To prove the abnormal volume of fake activity around pro-Trump politicians, Cyabra scanned public figures from both sides of the political map and analyzed the fake activity surrounding them. As seen below, fake profiles interacted with pro-Trump officials substantially more than with their counterparts.
A common form of bot behavior in similar coordinated campaigns showed bots identifying tweets with similar agenda as the one they were promoting, and retweeting or reposting them extensively. Here, too, bots manifested a rare amount of engagement, as they identified authentic influencers – mostly Republican politicians and researchers criticizing President Biden for taking classified documents into his home – and retweeted them by the thousand. Some of those authentic posts doubled and tripled their potential exposure due to 40% and more of the retweets by fake profiles.
Can We Beat the Election Bots?
Summing up the involvement of fake profiles active in the conversations regarding Trump and the 2024 elections, Cyabra found that 73% of them were spreading pro-Trump content. Overall, 64% of the pro-Trump posts Cyabra scanned were created by fake profiles, and with the elections coming up next year, Cyabra’s experts suspect those already huge numbers would just keep growing.
The massive amount of bots manipulating the election discourse makes it almost impossible to understand or estimate the mainstream Republican sentiment for the 2024 elections. Furthermore, the integrity of political discourse on social media has been compromised, distorted by fake and bad actors.
So, how can we trust what we read on social media? How can we believe what looks like a wide consensus or a wide reprimand? And if we can’t, how can we get better at identifying fake profiles all while they keep getting better at pretending to be real people?
While Cyabra can suggest a couple of ways to protect yourself and your immediate surrounding from disinformation and fake profiles, it’s becoming clear that online discourse is marching towards a day in which a universal solution will have to be created or presented, for the protection and well-being of our society. Fake profiles on social media are no longer a problem that can be ignored or disregarded. It has the power to change who we vote for and affect our everyday lives. Whether this solution will come from governments, social networks themselves, or someone we’ve yet to consider – until it comes, Cyabra will be here to uncover fake profiles and fake conversations. Hold on tight, folks. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Cyabra is a social threat intelligence company, uncovering threats to your company, product, people, and places by exposing malicious actors, disinformation, and bot networks online. Contact us for more information or to set up a demo.