Twitter bots entered the popular political consciousness during the 2016 campaign. Trolls and artificial accounts were blamed with everything from spreading misinformation to swaying the final vote.

Their ultimate effect on actual vote tallies may be something scientists — both data and political — try to figure out, but we do know that bots can fuel discord.

A surprising number of posts on social media are made by bots. And while Twitter and Facebook have been trying to make sure fewer people see misinformation, it’s still there.

With one day until the midterms, how has bot activity changed? Who are the bots supporting, and how effective are they?


  • Alina Polyakova David M. Rubenstein Fellow, foreign policy, The Brookings Institution; @apolyakova

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