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Two-thirds of links shared on Twitter come from bots: Pew Research Center

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An estimated two-thirds of tweets linking to stories from some of the most popular websites don’t come from humans, but from bots,  a Pew Research Center report has revealed. Certain types of websites were much more popular with the bots than others: Around 90% of the tweeted links to 'adult content' sites came from what was likely bot account, and the number for sports content stood at 76%. For news content, the percentage was same as the overall number that is 66%. It must be noted that these percentages only account for the number of tweets sent out and do not represent how many humans actually engaged/interacted with these tweets. [caption id="attachment_183103" align="aligncenter" width="309"] Source: Pew Research Center[/caption] The report analyzed a sample of 1.2 million tweets containing links that went out between July 27 and September 11, 2017, categorizing 2,315 of the most-linked-to English-language websites by topic. To figure out whether a Twitter account tweeting out a link was a bot or human, Pew relied on Botometer, an automated posting detection tool from researchers at the University of Southern California and the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research at Indiana University. Why are bots so popular? The Pew study highlights the reason why bots are used so extensively on social media, they are extremely efficient at amplifying content. Researchers discovered that a tiny number of highly active bots could drive massive amounts of link-sharing. The report noted that 22% of all links to news and current events generated…

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