How to capture the operation of political bots networks? Which types of accounts compose bot ecologies? How do bots promote content? To what extent do platform moderation policies impact bots’ activities over time? How does inauthentic activity change as content moderation measures refine their capture of bots and other “platform manipulations”? This project gathers and profiles accounts operating in Brazilian online political debates through the use of quali-quantitative methods. It investigates the activities of pro- and anti- president Jair Bolsonaro bots across platforms (i.e. Instagram, Twitter and TikTok) to make “inauthentic” behaviour visible, as well as addressing challenges of studying networked disinformation environments.
The project explores methodological approaches for studying inauthentic behaviour online that moves beyond bot detection towards an analysis of their vernacular, collective strategies and particularities. The project aims to produce a series of research reports on “bolsobots”, their networks and digital methods recipes to understand their social lives.
- Profiling Bolsobots Networks. A quali-quanti approach to repurpose Instagram grammars. Digital Methods Initiative.
- After all, what are bolsobots like these days? #SMARTDataSprint.
- Insta Bots and the black market of social media engagement, Janna Joceli Omena.
- Disinformation and inauthencity in ONU Brasil’s social media spheres, Emillie de Keulenaar.
- Reading Digital Networks: Climate Emergency, Bolsonaro & Bot Image Circulation by Vision API, Janna Joceli Omena.
- Profiling Bolsobot Networks, blog report cross-posted on Public Data Lab blog and CIM blog.
- Robôs e desinformação nas redes: O que já se sabe nas eleições 2018. Nexo Jornal.
- When Machine Behavior Targets Future Voters: The Use of Social Bots to Test Narratives for Political Campaigns in Brazil. International Journal of Communication, 15(0), 1220–1223.