Bots Among Us: Prevalence, Influence, and Roles of Automated Accounts in the German Twitter Follow Network


Social bots are undermining trust in social media. They spread low-credibility content, fake news, and spam. However, most research is based on bots that actively share links or keywords, rather than assessing the longer-term presence of bots as an integral part of platforms. To address this gap, we present what to our knowledge is the first study that assesses the prevalence, influence, and roles of automated accounts in a Twitter follow network on a national scale. This allows us to analyse the potential impact of bots beyond the context of single events and topics.

In AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research
Ben Thies
Ben Thies
Strategy Consultant / Researcher