Can bots shape political views?


Yes, bots can significantly shape political views. This occurs through various channels and strategies:

  1. Perception Manipulation: As noted by , bots can distort public perception of political popularity or sentiment, which was evident in scenarios such as Brexit. Bots created an illusion that certain views were more widespread than they actually were, influencing people's opinions through perceived social proof 1.

  2. Proliferation of Disinformation: raises concerns about the misuse of AI and bots in creating and spreading false information. This could relate to faking news around elections or manipulating stock markets. The accessibility of these tools means potentially anyone can use them to manipulate public opinion or disrupt elections 2.

  3. Deepfake and Media Manipulation: The normalization of deepfakes and voice clones—used to misrepresent celebrities or political figures—further complicates the information landscape, as noted by . Such manipulations can severely damage the reputations of public figures and mislead voters 3.

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  4. Change in Information Consumption: There is also a shift in how information is consumed, moving from human-to-human interactions to bot interactions, which identifies as potentially antisocial and addictive. This shift could affect democratic processes by reducing genuine discourse and increasing misinformation or targeted propaganda 2.

These mechanisms highlight how bots can influence political landscapes by altering perceptions, spreading misinformation, and manipulating media representations. This emphasizes the critical need for vigilance and verification in the digital age.