While the popular narrative blames Clinton’s 2016 electoral loss on (Russian) bots, they actually helped her chances, according to a new study finding pro-Clinton bots were more effective at influencing voters than pro-Trump ones. While there were almost twice as many pro-Trump bots in operation before the 2016 election, the pro-Clinton bots were much more likely to change people’s political opinions because they were much more active, MIT researcher Tauhid Zaman discovered. Zaman analyzed 2.3 million tweets referencing the second presidential debate and found less than one percent of the accounts involved were bots. He measured the real users’ opinions using two models – one based on their tweets and one on their network of connections – and then remeasured without the inclusion of the bots in the networks. To his surprise (he’s a registered Democrat, according to a disclosure statement that accompanied the study) the average level of support for Clinton dropped from 58 to 42.
This post originally appeared on SOTT.net