Michael Kreil is an award-winning journalist and data scientist. He has been specializing in handling and researching large amounts of data for over two decades. In the last three years, he has scraped about five billion tweets and uses the data to review numerous research papers on social bots.
People Are Not Bots - or How Researchers Delegitimize Social Movements
At first, it didn't sound wrong. Scientists were going to track down social bots using scientific methods in order to study their influence on public debates. But a deeper look into the research shows that it is anything but scientific.
Researchers work with wrong claims and flawed methods. Algorithms, instead of being open source, are intransparent. Results contradict each other. Papers have been rejected by scientific journals. To this day, nobody has been able to present any scientific proof of "mass manipulation by social bots."
Yet this narrative is strong enough to delegitimize major political movements like Fridays for Future or Black Lives Matter. When scientists claim that a movement consists of bots, its voices are less likely to be heard.
It is time to set the record straight: People are not bots!