Twitter Bots Used In Climate Change Denial

Twitter Bots Used In Climate Change Denial

25% of Climate Change Denial Tweets Come From Manipulative Bots. A Whole Quarter of all Climate Change Tweets. 

    Researchers have found that bots are largely fueling climate denial propaganda on Twitter. Bots are automatons or pieces of software that execute commands, reply to messages, or perform human routine tasks automatically, with minimal human intervention.

    Scientists at Brown University found that 25% of all tweets about climate change come from bots on an average day. Research shows that 38% of tweets were automated in topics about:

1) Withdrawal of Donald Trump's Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement
2) Responses of governmental and media on the Withdrawal
3) Posts about climate change research.
4) Discussions on the Denial of Climate Change.
5) Links sharing Climate Denialist Research
6) Links about White House Aids and their views on Fossil Fuel.


     The study covers from May 28 to June 31, 2017, the period immediately preceding and after President Donald Trump’s announcement he was going to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on June 1. The Paris Agreement is an agreement dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance. Withdrawal from this, puts America and the entire face of the Earth in great danger. 
     From the 6.5 million tweets using terms such as “climate change,” “global warming,” and “Paris Climate Agreement,” the researchers narrowed their random sample size to 167,000 tweets to analyze who was real and who was not. To identify media bots—automated accounts that mimic real-life people to fool readers or sway public opinion—the researchers Botometer, a university-led effort that rates social media accounts for authenticity.

     Mainly, these bots support Trump's Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. It turns out that in that huge sample size, the tweets were not really concerned about the Withdrawal's effect on the Climate Change, but the automated tweets are used to amplify the denial of Climate Change. Overall, bots accounted for 25% of all climate tweets, these fake accounts pretending to be a part of #climatetwitter. It’s concerning that climate denial is pushed by Twitter bots.

But why?

     Tweets promoting fake science claiming that the Climate Crisis is a hoax or that it is in no relation to Fossil Fuel Industry has kept the business growing despite the undeniable risks to humanity. 

      “One of the most dangerous elements of misinformation is its ability to cancel out accurate information,” John Cook, a researcher at the Center for Climate Change Communication. Studies show that when exposed to an accurate and false information, a person who cannot resolve the truthfulness of the facts would disengage : the two "facts" then cancel out each other. Misinforming tweets' existence is all that’s needed to destroy accurate information.

     An automated tweet or media post could very well fool anyone who might not have the sufficient grasp of climate science or in general, spotting false news.

Business motivated corporations in Fossil Fuel Industry channel these malicious misinformation to oblivious Republicans, endangering not just the indigenous people in conflict areas, but the entire ecological balance, land, air, and water that sustain everyone on Earth.



For the research paper, check out this public link