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Twitter bots can promote good behaviour

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  24 Sep 2017 12:00 AM GMT

New York, Sept 23: Twitter bots earned a bad reputation for their alleged role in the 2016 US presidential election but researchers have found that automated tweets can also help promote good behaviour such as getting the flu shot among the social network’s users. In a large-scale experiment designed to alyse the spread of information on social networks, the researchers deployed a network of algorithm-driven Twitter accounts, or social bots, programmed to spread positive messages on Twitter. The study also revealed another intriguing pattern — information is much more likely to become viral when people are exposed to the same piece of information multiple times through multiple sources. “Now we have seen empirically that when you are exposed to a given piece of information multiple times, your chances of adopting this information increase every time,” Ferrara added. Each bot automatically recorded when a target user retweeted intervention-related content and also each exposure that had taken place prior to retweeting. Several hashtags received more than one hundred retweets and likes, Ferrara said. The researchers believe that this discovery could also improve how positive intervention strategies are deployed on social networks in many scerios, including public health announcements for disease control or emergency magement in the wake of a crisis. (IANS)

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