Conspirador Norteño Profile picture
Nov 3, 2017 21 tweets 10 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
The #UraniumOne hashtag (related to the bogus Clinton/Mueller/uranium) story has generated 328870 tweets in the last ten days.
High volume makes me suspect bot activity. I looked for repeated tweets, and found quite a few. 127 accounts tweeted this, for example.
Next I looked at the top 40 accounts (measured by number of RTs) driving the #UraniumOne traffic. @RealJamesWoods is the biggest source.
11 of the top 40 accounts are high profile right-wing Twitter users - everyone from Woods to @seanhannity to @JackPosobiec. #AltWankers
I'll pause here and share this study from Pew Research. Note the gender balance of voters in the 2016 election.…
Here are the 29 major pushers of #UraniumOne who aren't public figures. 24 (83%) have female avatars. Very different ratio than Trump's base
78671 (24%) of the tweets originated with one of these 29 accounts. I've dug into some before; will likely look at others in the future.
By way of example, here's a look at a network involving SparkleSoup45 and Pink_About_it from a previous thread.
Here's the #UraniumOne tweet volume again, this time broken down by the source of the tweets.
Finally, let's explore the propagation of the hashtag over the last 10 days. James Woods is the main node on 10/23. #AltWankers
Woods is the main influencer again on 10/24. Pink_About_it surfaces here - this was one of the main pushers of #ClintonRussiaCollusion.
10/25 features @DineshDSouza and @RepDeSantis joining the #UraniumOne fun. Yes, that's a US Representative pushing a propaganda hashtag.
The major influencers for 10/26 are similar to 10/25, but Woods and company are joined by a supporting cast of likely troll accounts.
SparkleSoup45 is a major node on 10/27 - like Pink_About_it, this account previously pushed #ClintonRussiaCollusion with the aid of bots.
Woods was apparently asleep on 10/28. Traffic is dominated by a mix of right-wing journalists and #AltWankers, w/help from probable trolls.
10/29-Woods resurfaces, but @USNJack (Posobiec alt account?) is the main node. A wide variety of anonymous supporting accounts on this day.
10/30 - @RealJamesWoods is once again the primary originator of #UraniumOne traffic. Note that the set of trolls varies from day to day.
10/31 - Similar to 10/31, but Woods is even more prominent, while the influence of the anonymous accounts has been reduced. #AltWankers
11/1 is the last full day I have data for. kwilli1046, an anonymous account with 75K tweets, joins Woods as the main source of traffic.
To be clear - I don't think James Woods is a "Russian bot". I think he's an asshat who's being amplified by trolls and bots. #AltWankers
I do think plenty of the trolls and bots in question are Kremlin-controlled, however :) #InformationWarfare

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More from @conspirator0

Oct 9, 2018
Honey Pot Bots
Meet @ShawneeDeaver. This account's first tweet - and only non-reply tweet - is 2scEY0T, an apparently random 7-character alphanumeric code. The rest of the tweets are replies sent within hours of its creation; the collage is representative. (Thanks @OlgaNYC1211 for the lead).
We decided to look for more accounts like it. We started by harvesting the recent replies to the accounts that @ShawneeDeaver replied to, and filtering the results to accounts with a 7-character code as their first tweet and all subsequent tweets being quickly-launched replies.
Read 9 tweets
Oct 8, 2018
Let's take an updated look at the traffic related to Russia Insider, a Russian news site featuring sections such as "Western Collapse", "The Jewish Question", "Free Assange", "Russiahoax", and "EU Conservative Uprising".
(previous Russia Insider thread in which failed Congressional Candidate Paul Nehlen featured prominently)
We downloaded the last ten days worth of tweets linking to russia-insider(dot)com, resulting in 5357 tweets from 2779 accounts.
Read 13 tweets
Oct 6, 2018
While looking for streams of the Kavanaugh confirmation cloture vote yesterday, we stumbled on @Seekandfind, an account that linked Russia Today's stream. Spoiler alert - this account is (at least presently) a bot with signs of some human interjections.
This account is extremely high-volume (900+ tweets per day at present) and uses a massive cornucopia of different automation tools to tweet (mostly Microsoft PowerApps, Buffer, Integromat, IFTTT, and Zapier).
What does @Seekandfind tweet about? 37.1% of tweets contain one or more of the keywords shown in this chart - the Trump, Hillary Clinton, MSM/fake news, and deep state categories being the most prominent.
Read 10 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
On October 2nd, the news came out that envelopes containing suspected ricin had been mailed to the Pentagon and the White House. We downloaded tweets containing the word "ricin" a few hours after the news broke, resulting in 45007 tweets from 29308 accounts.
Here's the retweet network for "ricin" on 2018-10-02. It consists almost entirely of right wing accounts, most of which are speculating that the ricin mailing was left-wing terrorism.
We tested a sample of 10000 of the accounts with ricin tweets for automation (based on either 24/7 activity or 90%+ of tweets being posted via automation services/custom apps). 817 (8.2%) were flagged as bots. Let's look at a few of them.
Read 12 tweets
Oct 4, 2018
Yesterday (2018-10-02), four members of the white supremacist group known as the "Rise Above Movement" were arrested by the feds for their part in the violence at the #UniteTheRight rally in Charlottesville in August 2018. Let's take a look at related Twitter traffic.
(previous thread on the Twitter activity surrounding the #UniteTheRight hashtag leading up to and during the rally last year.)
We downloaded tweets containing "Charlottesville" and "arrests", resulting in 15082 tweets from 12331 accounts beginning with the first report of the arrests (from @HenryGraff).
Read 13 tweets
Sep 30, 2018
How does one go about detecting Twitter bots (automated accounts)? Let's take a look at three different tests for detecting signs of automation, and try them on three different sample sets of accounts.
The first two tests may be familiar from previous threads:

1. 24/7 tweet activity - this could point to multiple human operators, but is usually the result of automation/tweet scheduling.
2. Use of automation services such as IFTTT or custom apps built with the Twitter API.
The tweet schedule plots shown in the previous tweet can be used to visually perform both these tests. You can generate them yourself for accounts of interest here:
Read 9 tweets

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