Concerned about the proliferation of manipulated data and propaganda found on twitter, Ash Bhat and Rohan Phadte, a pair of 20 year old UC Berkeley students decided to put their computer science skills to use and created a Google Chrome extension called Botcheck.me. The app interacts with Twitter, giving users a clear option to identify whether or not another user is actually a political propaganda bot.
…there is a group of political Twitter accounts, commonly referred to as political propaganda bots, that are different. These are accounts who identify themselves as real humans and whose tweets are politically polarizing. They often retweet content instead of actually creating their own. …we identified accounts with certain suspicious behavior as high-confidence bot accounts. Behavior such as tweeting every few minutes in a full day, endorsing polarizing political propaganda (including fake news), obtaining a large follower account in a relatively small time span, and constant retweeting/promoting other high-confidence bot accounts are all traits that lead to high-confidence bot accounts.
CBS SF Bay Area spoke with Bhat and Phadte to learn more about this project.