Bots, Social Media and Political Propaganda

Social bots – automated programs that run over social media and influence human behaviours – are increasingly widespread and worrisome in the age of the internet, inducing the need for an ever stronger cybersecurity. They have imposed their pervasive presence on social media platforms, and their use has been documented in a variety of scenarios, including manipulation of public opinion and social spam campaigns. Bots have gained an increasing amount of attention in the U.S. media since the 2016 United States presidential election, yet the consensus is that the general public does not really understand what they are. Bots were also used during the 2017 French presidential and German federal elections, but they had a different effect on them than they did on the aforementioned U.S. election. Last but not least, they have already been used for years in cyberwarfare tactics, especially by Russia.

The purpose of this conference is to explain how bots are exploited through social media and how they influence political debates. Dr Gillian Bolsover, from the University of Leeds, will compare the strategies developed by individuals and organisations hiding behind these automated programs. She will also give more details about the types of bots used and their effects on global politics.

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Research lines: Threats, challenges and strategic responses ; Defence capabilities and technologies

Bots, Social Media and Political Propaganda

Doctor Gillian BOLSOVER

Moderator : Alain DE NEVE

Languages : English
Simultaneous translation into Dutch and French

26 March 2019, 17:00 – 18:30
> 16:30 – Registration
> 17:00 – Conference
> 18:00 – Reception

Campus Renaissance
Rue Hobbema, 8
1000 Brussels

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