Up to 48 million Twitter accounts could be bots, report says

Up to 48 million Twitter accounts could be bots, report says
The Information Era, eh? A crazy time to be alive, indeed. The Internet, and social media in particular, have irreversibly transformed the way we approach communication and information – who is to say whether it’s all for good or bad. We like to believe in the former, of course!

Nonetheless, a recent report from a joint research by the University of Southern California and Indiana University shows that up to 48 million out of a total of 319 million Twitter accounts might be bots and not directly operated by humans, which equals about 15 percent of all registered profiles. This is almost a double of the numbers the company had previously filed in 2014, when the estimate was of anything between 5 to 8.5 percent. 

The bot accounts issue also hit headlines during the elections last year, with the University of Southern California reporting that 19 percent of the election-related tweets came from non-human tweeters. This stat looks particularly scary when you couple it with the facts that about 24 percent of adult Americans use Twitter, and 86 percent of global users reportedly seek to find news through the media. Oh, hello, 1984. 

With mobile and online shopping evolving rapidly year on year, Twitter is a hot arena for small and medium businesses (SMB), with 66 percent of tweeters discovering SMBs through the platform. So the bot-concern could be said to have a very direct impact on people’s decisions, should you decide to regard politics as ‘indirect’. Going forward, we keep our fingers crossed that the blue bird company, as well as other social media platforms, will acknowledge the issue, as it seems to pose more than a moral dilemma for users around the globe.

sources: Report, Hootsuite


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