I think it's a matter of you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. I have provided the dots with articles and explanations of the phenomena, but you have to connect them, put on your thinking cap, think the matter through. Education is partly to blame for not teaching us to think, conclude, but to accept as "proof" when some "expert" can tell us what we should think.
What is the high standard of "proof"? Those advertising companies buying expensive testing methods and showing you the data? The bot managers themselves revealing their nefarious activity? You're not gonna get that, you just have to be smart and figure it out.
I've been familiar with this concept a long time, so it's a natural explanation, not a leap of faith at all, you just know what kind of situations these things are going to be fitted into. Half the Internet is bots.
Here are the dots, Twitter (BIG dot!), online activism, Democrats, 24 hours of wild internet activity that humans are incapable of, huge numbers. It's almost crazy to not conclude it was bots/fake accounts.
But again, I think this is a red herring, because it's just a mirage, and Fox just weren't fighting this, they were letting it happen. Inside politics is the ultimate cause of this.
Here Rolling Stones practically telegraphs their intentions. Of course not mentioning the fake accounts part, whether they are conscious or not of the fact, that's the blank you have to fill in.
The activists who organized the hugely successful Women's March on Washington have been advocating a boycott online, encouraging their nearly 500,000 Twitter followers to share their stories of workplace harassment using #DropOReilly. (The hashtag had garnered some 39 million impressions in just two days, according to the analytics companyKeyhole.)
The group Sleeping Giants, leaders of a months-long campaign targeting companies whose advertisements appear on Breitbart.com, launched an O'Reilly boycott Tuesday after fielding a torrent of requests on Twitter.
"As of this morning, people were just outright demanding it of us," a spokesman for the anonymous group of media professionals who manage the account tells Rolling Stone. They're now in the process of of assembling a list of O'Reilly Factor advertisers and a series of O'Reilly fact graphics that their 80,000 followers can tweet at sponsors of the show.
"We think it falls in line with what we've been doing with Breitbart, which is informing advertisers," he says. "Instead of just saying, 'Get off Bill O'Reilly's show,' we're trying to give them information ... about Bill O'Reilly's past." They plan to tweet out a few of the graphics a day. That strategy has worked for Sleeping Giants in its campaign against Breitbart – more than 1,750 companies whose ads had previously appeared on the far-right news site have now blocked it from their ad buys.
Another interesting, pertinent dot
However, @ilduce2016 wasn't just a robot. It was also an activist, one of a growing number fighting in the political battles that are increasingly waged online. Across social media, and especially enlightened platforms such as Twitter that recognise bots as legitimate members of the community, robots are being used not to manufacture cars, but to try to manufacture political consent. We are living through the rise of automated activism.
At their best, these digital placard-holders have a two-fold edge over their fleshy, human counterparts. First, their sheer volume. Bots can shout constantly, tirelessly and indefinitely; in other words, they can be inhumanly loud. In early June 2016, as the UK's EU referendum campaign gathered pace, researchers Philip N Howard and Bence Kollanyi judged that a third of all Twitter traffic concerning Brexit was most likely caused by bots, because "it is difficult for human users to maintain this rapid pace of Twitter activity".
…Scale can beget scale. Bots can be programmed to make other bots, which means that it is entirely possible to raise an army of them. There are around 26 million on Twitter alone, and these legions often join together into networks called botnets. This ease of production makes them cheap: you can buy tens of thousands on Twitter for a few pounds to faithfully retweet your messages. Tom Feltwell is a British researcher who studies activist bots and runs botmaking workshops. "Making a bot is really quite easy," he says. "With a bit of entry-level tech knowledge you can do something quite powerful politically."