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Swedish study notes surge in automated Twitter accounts

/ 04:36 PM August 30, 2018

COPENHAGEN, Denmark  — A Swedish government study says there’s been a recent surge in the number of automated Twitter accounts ahead of the Sept. 9 election, noting that 40 percent of them are more likely to support the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats party, expected to make gains.

The study by Sweden’s defense research agency comes amid broader concerns over misinformation ahead of the election.

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Researcher Johan Fernquist says the number of so-called Twitter bots discussing politics nearly doubled from July to August.

The report published Wednesday said users “may be led to believe that this content (is) more widely accepted or more mainstream than it actually is.”

Swedish authorities repeatedly have talked about the potential risk of foreign inference in the vote.

Polls suggest the Sweden Democrats could become Sweden’s second largest party. /ee

TOPICS: automated Twitter accounts, politics, Sweden, Swedish government study, technology news, Twitter, Twitter bots
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