Researchers from the Department have helped to uncover 45 suspected propaganda accounts on Twitter.Twitter propaganda accounts

BuzzFeed News has uncovered a new network of suspected Twitter propaganda accounts – sharing messages about Brexit, Donald Trump, and Angela Merkel – that have close connections to the Russian-linked bot accounts identified by the social media platform in its evidence to the US Congress.

The network of propaganda accounts was identified using a database of 17 million Brexit-related tweets collected by the researchers from the Departments NLP research group.

Kalina Bontcheva, the lead University of Sheffield researcher, said the new bots were easy to detect – which raises the question of whether they should have been spotted by the social network earlier.

“The new accounts were very similar to each other content-wise and thus could easily be detected based on the formulaic behaviour they had,” she said. “The tweeting behaviour of the live ones was quite random in many ways, with bursty tweeting on what looked very much like a random set of topics and obsession with shallow hashtag games.”

Read the full BuzzFeed article here

Find out more about the GATE research team who worked on the data used in the story