Боты, ведущие народ? Модель влияния ботов на политическую мобилизацию и демобилизацию в социальных медиа
Bots (automated accounts) in social media have gained more attention from social scientists in recent years.
The former are employed by both governments and civil society groups in order to manipulate online political
discussion in social media. Nevertheless, there is no conclusive evidence on their effectiveness as a tool
to bolster (mobilize) or suppress (demobilize) political discussion in social media. This paper presents a novel
agent-based model, capable of simulating bot deployment as both mobilization and demobilization tool.
Results of the simulations reveal three major effects of bot deployment. First, bots are more effective at demobilizing
opponents than mobilizing supporters. Second, transmitting radical opinions via bots may backfire,
demobilizing a certain group rather than mobilizing it. Third, the effectiveness of social bots is dependent
on homophily: more homophilous networks are less susceptible to bots’ influence. Results of modeling
may both advance our estimations of bots’ effectiveness and serve as a tool to generate potential hypotheses
for future empirical research.