American scientists have revealed the tactics of Russian trolls on the Internet -

American scientists have revealed the tactics of Russian trolls on the Internet

American scientists have revealed the tactics of Russian trolls on the Internet

American researchers studied the phenomenon of vaccination disputes on Twitter and concluded that they are artificially exacerbated by "Russian trolls".

The purpose of the intervention is to sow distrust and exacerbate conflicts in society.
The main tactic of Russian Internet trolls is to participate in disputes on both sides to kindle conflicts and sow distrust in the society. This conclusion was reached by scientists from the University of George Washington, who studied the published in Twitter messages of opponents and supporters of vaccination, writes The Guardian. The results of the study are published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers have studied the phenomenon of disputes in Twitter about the dangers and benefits of vaccination. They were puzzled by the heated debate on this topic on Twitter, although in real life, most Americans recognize the usefulness of vaccines. Researchers, using various methods, including those based on congressional and intelligence services, identified trolls and bots associated with the Russian "troll factory". After studying the data for 2014-2017, scientists came to the conclusion that trolls and bots were 22 times more likely than ordinary users to raise the issue of harm and benefit from vaccinations, and the trolls supported both sides of the conflict, kindling it, and trying to undermine the credibility of vaccination.

For this they tried to aggravate the conflict on the basis of race, used arguments about property inequality ("the rich get quality vaccines, and we do not"), religious motives, and other painful points of American society.

"These trolls seem to be using the vaccination problem as a wedge, fueling differences in American society," said one participant in the study, Mark Dredze. "Playing on both sides, they undermine public confidence in vaccination, exposing us all to the risk of infectious diseases. Viruses do not respect national borders, "the Washington Post scientist quotes.

Scientists warned that the fight against disinformation could lead to the effect of "feeding trolls" and inflating the debate, putting in question the provisions on which in fact there is a consensus in society.

The theme of vaccination is just one of the few that trolls try to ignite conflicts and sow distrust, the researchers say. For example, one of the bots, the total number of posts which exceeded 6 thousand, devoted to vaccination only 38 tweets. However, this happened just when the subject of vaccines surfaced in the news field in connection with one of the orders of President Donald Trump.

Researchers also noted that many accounts of debaters can not be classified. It can be both living people, and "cyborgs", that is, the bots seized by bots, once owned by real people.

Another significant part of the bots on the Web is the spread of malicious software.

According to Twitter, in recent months, the social network has blocked more than 1 million fake and suspicious accounts per day. In May and June, the number of blocked accounts exceeded 70 million. Twitter also announced that it will introduce mandatory confirmation of registration of users via e-mail and phone numbers in order to get rid of trolls and bot accounts.

"We will never stop our efforts to identify and prevent attempts to manipulate discussions on our platform," said Del Harvey's vice president and security chief, Joel Roth, in the company's blog.

On the fight against false and fake pages repeatedly announced also the social network Facebook.

24.08.2018 11:20:15
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