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Twitter bots spread misinformation in 2016 US presidential election: Study

Twitter bots spread misinformation in 2016 US presidential election: Study

Automated accounts or “bots” played a disproportionate role in spreading online during the 2016 US presidential election, according to a study.

The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, analysed 14 million messages and 400,000 articles shared on between May 2016 and March 2017.

The period spans the end of the 2016 presidential primaries and the presidential inauguration on January 20, 2017.

Researchers from Indiana University in the US found that a mere six per cent of accounts that the study identified as bots were enough to spread 31 per cent of the “low-credibility” information on the network.

These accounts were also responsible for 34 per cent of all articles shared from “low-credibility” sources, they found.

The study also found that bots played a major role promoting low-credibility content in the first few moments before a story goes viral.

The brief length of this time — 2 to 10 seconds —

highlights the challenges of countering the spread of online, researchers said.

Similar issues are seen in other complex environments like the stock market, where serious problems can arise in mere moments due to the impact of high-frequency trading.

“This study finds that bots significantly contribute to the spread of online — as well as shows how quickly these messages can spread,” said Filippo Menczer, a professor at Indiana University.

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Is the Opposition uniting for 2019 with the sole agenda of challenging Narendra Modi, or is there more to it?

Both the prime minister and the BJP president feel that the Opposition’s “sole agenda is to remove (Narendra) Modi”. They have said it clearly in interviews and speeches recently. Is this true? Certainly, the BJP seems to believe it and the two leaders named above have expressed it repeatedly.

The accusation could be true or false. Let us first assume it is true. The question is why the Opposition wants to remove Modi. There could be two broad reasons. One is negative (meaning that the Opposition want to get together to ruin the country but they are being blocked by the lone, heroic Modi). The other is for positive reasons. Meaning that the Opposition want to get rid of Modi because they think they can put together an alternative government that is better than Modi’s. This sentiment could also be coloured by the fact that some of the Opposition think that Modi is ruining the country.

 

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Jammu and Kashmir floods: Three dead in rain-related incidents; Rajnath Singh assures NN Vohra of all possible help

Jammu and Kashmir floods: Three dead in rain-related incidents; Rajnath Singh assures NN Vohra of all possible help-

Jammu and Kashmir authorities sounded a flood alert in central Kashmir on Saturday even as three deaths were reported in rain-related mishaps in the Jammu region. Meanwhile, Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday assured Governor NN Vohra of all possible help from the Centre to deal with the situation.

Three killed in Jammu

In the Jammu region, three persons were killed and nearly a dozen houses damaged in rain-related mishaps since Friday, officials said.

Harbans Lal (45) was washed away by a flash flood in a stream near his house in Natulphal village in Akhnoor sector. Anzar Ahmad, 22, died after being washed away in the Surankote area of Poonch district on Friday.

A woman named Jameel was killed when a tree fell on her shelter in Kishtwar district.

On the Sringar-Jammu highway, Srinagar-bound vehicles were stopped at various places between Ramban and Banihal around 2 pm as a precautionary measure, officials said. The local administration is making arrangements to lodge passengers for the night at government buildings, including schools. The Jammu-bound traffic was, however, allowed to proceed.

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Narendra Modi launches five-day election campaign in Karnataka,

Santemaranahalli/Udupi (Karnataka): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday assailed the Congress government in Karnataka for initiating the culture of “ease of doing murder”, as he launched the second leg of his campaign blitz in the state for the Assembly elections.

He also accused the successive Congress governments at the Centre of allowing a handful of people to “loot” banks while denying loans to poor.

The prime minister unleashed an all out attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi and dared him “to speak in any language” for 15 minutes about the achievements of Karnataka’s Siddaramaiah government without referring to a piece of paper.

“I dare the Congress president to speak in Hindi, English or the mother tongue of his mother to deliver a speech in Karnataka for 15 minutes, without reading out from a piece of paper, on the achievements of the party government…people of Karnataka will draw their own conclusion,” he told an election rally at Santemaranahalli in Chamaraja district.