Daniel Halliday
Nov 4 ยท Last update 8 mo. ago.

What can be done about political interference from Internet bots?

Bots are applications that run automated scripts on the Internet. Bots can quickly carry out tasks that would be too simple and repetitive for a human user and have seen increased use in recent years in manipulating social media narratives and trying to manipulate social media users for the political gains. Internet bots are thought to have played a role in recent controversies such as the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump. Should we be worried about the manipulation of social media narratives? Is the use of bots to manipulate social media immoral? Is there something than can be done to mitigate the negative effects of bots on the Internet?
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No โ€“ bot regulations are difficult and dangerous
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No โ€“ bot regulations are difficult and dangerous

It is difficult to regulate something so difficult to define and wide ranging, with Internet bots being used in all avenues of the internet for various tasks, the problem with blanket regulations against something like that is complex and runs the risk of oppressing free speech. For example a proposed piece of regulation in the United States was criticised for placing moderation above free expression, meanwhile bots and fake news are being used as an excuse to jail journalists in Indonesia, demonstrating where the harshest forms of regulation lead. Twitter is already combating malicious bots with guidelines and a fair usage policy around automation tools, anything more would impact how users can use social media and would have knock on effect for users freedom of speech.

vice.com/en_asia/article/j5bq54/indonesias-answer-to-fake-news-might-be-a-threat-to-free-speech cato.org/blog/new-bill-would-ban-internet-bots-speech 247wallst.com/technology-3/2018/09/25/can-internet-regulation-stop-bots-and-trolls en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter_bot

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Daniel Halliday
Nov 4