On the Influence of Social Bots in Online Protests

Suárez-Serrato, Pablo; Roberts, Margaret E.; Davis, Clayton; Menczer, Filippo; Spiro, Emma; Ahn, Yong-Yeol

Social bots can affect online communication among humans. We study this phenomenon by focusing on #YaMeCanse, the most active protest hashtag in the history of Twitter in Mexico. Accounts using the hashtag are classified using the BotOrNot bot detection tool. Our preliminary analysis suggests that bots played a critical role in disrupting online communication about the protest movement.