How Bots Could Compromise Public HealthAugust 1, 2018 |
by Gaby Galvin
Headlines for months have railed about social media bots aiming to manipulate election votes. But similar digital devices and the forces behind them may be seeking to influence something even more personal: your health.
Researchers estimate there are tens of millions of bots – automated accounts sometimes posed as real people – on Twitter, with their presence also felt on Facebook and other social media platforms. They can be used to spread misleading or blatantly false information with the intent of influencing how people think or act, and they’re relatively simple to make – or to buy, for those simply looking to inflate their follower counts.