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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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World Badminton Championships 2018: Kidambi Srikanth needs to solve Kento Momota riddle as maiden shot at glory beckons

One man’s misfortune may well prove to be the key that unlocks the door to another man’s Valhalla. The withdrawal of Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei from the upcoming World Badminton Championships and the Asian Games, thanks to a respiratory disorder, could well be the stroke of luck that Indian spearhead Kidambi Srikanth requires, in his quest for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

One might have thought that, on the strength of his outstanding form in the first half of 2017, he would have been a prime contender for a medal of any hue at the World Championships in Glasgow in August. Seeded eighth, the Indian fared well enough in his first three outings, with comfortable victories over Russian Sergey Sirant, Frenchman Lucas Corvee and the dangerous Dane, Anders Antonsen.

Srikanth controversially chose to stay away from the prestigious Thomas Cup team competition, in which India fielded a below-strength team, and consequently, failed to make the quarter-finals. The Indian ace had been crowned World No 1 on 12 April, on a technicality, when the erstwhile numero uno, Viktor Axelsen of Denmark, was unable to defend points for a tournament that had been postponed by two months this year; he was to lose that top status a week later.

Srikanth’s cause has not been helped by a brace of indifferent performances on the recently concluded South East Asian circuit. Playing in the first of the four tournaments in the Asia-Pacific region, the Malaysia Open, Srikanth surrendered meekly by a 13-21, 13-21 margin to Japan’s resurgent Kento Momota.

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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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Donald Trump erroneously blames Canada for destroying White House in War of 1812 in testy call with Justin Trudeau

Donald Trump erroneously blames Canada for destroying White House in War of 1812 in testy call with Justin Trudeau


WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump erroneously blamed Canada for the burning of the White House in the War of 1812 during a recent telephonic talk with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, according to a media report.

“Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” Trump reportedly asked Trudeau when the US president called the latter to discuss the administration’s tariffs in Canadian steel and aluminum imports, CNN reported yesterday.