Blog Post #5

Over the past few weeks there has been a continuous news coverage of the Russian bots that are roaming the internet and posting things in a way to rig elections and promote Donald Trump and declassify various documents. However, in the News this week, one Buzzfeed article comments on how we need to stop blaming the Russian bots for pushing different topics and beliefs on the public. Watts, `Cofounder of the project that is widely cited as the main source of information on Russian bots notes how “[he’s] not convinced on this bot thing”. The article continues by saying how there are so many other bots and trolls on the internet that many people want everyone to believe that it is the Russian trolls that are controlling the news on the internet. People in government offices and newsrooms have even started to believe everything about the bots and that the bots put out. However, while people believe everything is controlled by the Russian bots, there are also automated social media influence campaigns that are starting from the United States. The article concludes by discussing how it’s hard to know the extent of Russian bots, but they cannot be the full blame.

I found this article very interesting because it ties into fake news and how someone can pose as someone else on the internet and spread news about stuff that is inaccurate. The Russian bots have been a prevalent problem over the past few years but it is interesting to read an article from a viewpoint that says they are not the only problem. There are other people in this world, besides the Russians, that are putting out bots and spreading fake news to various different groups of people. We cannot stop the spread of these bots and while we do not even understand the scope or true influence of the bots, it’s important to note that we cannot solely blame the Russian bots and there are people all over the world spreading false information and trying to sway people one way or another.