Investigative team Sadbottrue has own technologies for data gathering and for meta-analysis of big data. We focused on findings and explanation of anomalies that influence on the tech companies. We are fighting against the social media and advertising fraud ecosystem.
Chapter 15. Make America Bot Again. Part seven
The true story
One of the key difference between bot-account and the account of real life person is an account’s lifetime behavior.
We monitor the quality of followers and retweeters for an every tweet of the race 2016 candidates.
The fastest growing and most retweeted is Trump’s account. We have analyzed all new accounts which were registered in 2016, follow Trump, retweet, and became silent. Then we pick those who has from 1 to 4 retweets of Trump and no other activity at all. There are 301 such accounts. To be clear: they have signed up to twitter just for three things: follow Trump, retweet Trump, and die. It seemed to us that the history knows such a plot when the 300 heroes and their king fulfilled their duty and died. This story could be called “300 Trumpans and king Botanidas”. This is the absolutely stupid title, we agree. But compared with what you will read below, it will seem to you just excellent. This is Truuump!
As always, we start with a simple and familiar things.
There is no culture on the Earth with tradition to use numbers as a surname. This bot made one of 6K retweets of Trump`s quotation. Of cause, that quotation was bot’s opinion against official media. That bot was the cause of the article about double logos.
The next egg called itself super agent @JamesBond059866
Bot, James Bot. Shaken, not stirred. He helps make 5,8K and 11K retweets for Donald.
The third egg with the number in its screen name is @jjones212121
The name looks like US CA phone number. Number as a screen name is a common practice for mass registration of accounts. Twitter allows you to create only 1 account per one mobile number. An employee has registered a hundred accounts every day. He has to create the unique name, password and verify each twitter account by phone number. Then a list of registered accounts goes to botnet operator for customization of the every bot. So it is the very reasonable way to create an account with the phone number as a screen name and probably its password.
Sometimes botnet-manager forget to edit some of the accounts, and they continue to exist with the phone name. On average, for two years, almost all such accounts get the regular name.
This account has the highest number of likes in this set @tonyschembri16
Can’t you guess, whose these likes are?
The next personalized account is @tabbygirl2222
The account with the location and probably stolen from a social network photos. Try to understand the description. This account has the location, occasionally the date of Republican primary in Pennsylvania on April, 26.
Continuing the theme of multi-valued numbers in their names, consider the @Siraj637527
It has photo stolen from a social network and targeted political content.
That’s one of our favorite trampans @helloworld2202
Is “Deleted” her name or surname? Is account’s name “Helloworld2202” the clue?
According to Wikipedia, "Hello, World!" is a computer program that outputs "Hello, World!" on a display device, often standard output. Being a very simple program in most programming languages, it is often used to illustrate the basic syntax for constructing a working program and getting it to run correctly on a computer.
Can you imagine a girl who calls herself “Deleted” and who is not a suicide emo? We can’t.
Both photos are stolen from other social networks. Two different pictures of the same person can achieve the most realistic effect. It is difficult to imagine that someone would specifically look for a set of photos taken at different times, only to forge a digital identity. But as you can see it is true. It is a high-quality bot billet.
This is the second account with location. We guess this is another fake supporter for cheating on social analytic companies, which try to estimate the amount of voters of the race 2016.
It would be strange if among the Trampans there was not a single soldier. We are betting that the chances are zero, that brutal man is using nickname “Sirupy gorilla” @sirupygorilla
But it is not the weirdest thing here.
You can see the watermark on zoomed picture. This service called “My online portraits”. We found the bankrupted firm related with the domain, but no one knows who and how uses client`s names and photos database.
According to the photo, this real surname is Meadows and he is from the military police. Can you find him, and ask about Trump?
@SEANS_UNIVERSE is definitely the real human. Half bat, half man.
We wonder where he found a rare picture of Trump for his account.
Maybe, Jacob @reppinjacob666 is Peyton Williams Manning’s twin brother. The name with the diabolo`s number and “suicideprevention.com” are very suitable for Trump’s retweeters.
Among others, there are the media giant @CNNweeklyNews
Does @CNN know about this account? Is the official logo enough reasons to suspend this account?
The prototype for the next twitter account is so popular that it has to specify the serial number in the screen name @AdolfHitler564
Original @AdolfHitler has been suspended, but thousands of his doubles can still be found in the social network. This one has the number 564.
We wondered who these 6 people, which it follows.
There are accounts of totalitarian leaders created by someone who knows the political history of Europe.
Some bots with numbers in screen name follow not just Trump. For example, @Justin314159/following is very passionate about politics.
It is a common practice for the mass-registration business. It seems that someone in California bought a corporate pack of numbers and use it for creating of fakes. This is not the first time we have found a mass registration in California.
Earlier we wrote about the #1 California agency Tweetangels which openly sells bots and earns $7,000,000 in 2015. They are not affiliated with this botnet, it's just further evidence that the creating of bots engaged not only in third countries.
That is the second fail of content manager who has no time to customize the account. That is the second clue about the scale of the fake Trump`s twitter empire. Stop! This account doesn’t follow Trump! We apologize for our words about Trump's botnet.
Among recent Trump's followers, 2400 users have a phone number instead of their name. Does anybody want phonebook of Trump's supporters? Do you want to know who these people are?
Just ask, we don’t mind.
The owner of next strange account @GammaShield/following prefers space and rocket science. As we know, the movie is about artificial reality and robots, who use people as batteries. In this case, NEO plays against humans and follows Trump.
Maybe, @SpaceCowboiR is the future imitation of pro-Trump gamer’s account.
For the description of @hunterhd29 we need to remember one popular British traditional song.
That bot retweeted Trump
That quoted another bot
That posted a scandal meme
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This Trump quotation has 10K retweets. We made the investigation about media techniques behind launching media scandal. In addition, we have highlighted how to create the national news from retweet, pushed to the top by a botnet.
We have already said that Trump uses gray techniques. Here is one of them@GrayGho49675183. Gray Ghost is one of 9.3K retweeters for Trumps`s appeal don’t believe the official media.
Trump followers like numbers. Even those who can be the only one, like @jesus25567
Your own personal Jesus number 25567 is here right now.
Well, we promised the king. Here he is: @king1791mchsic2
This bot is the king number one. Sorry, number 1791. But it has only one tweet and only one friend. In its only retweet Trump highlighted his media relations.
If you've already thought it was the end, you were wrong.
The account @teststsdfsdfsdf is the royal jester. It has done the same things that the king, but it`s name is “teststsdfsdfsdf”. If someone will ban the king, he would raise the crown and continue his work.
And finally, in one of Trump's tweets, we have found a bug, which considered it necessary to correct. @AIDAN_LANGHORSE is looking like Trump.
Probably you don’t notice the URL in the description.
You may find it absurd writing this article. But is it not absurd to take seriously the social media success made using a botnet?
The bot facts
1. Trump use one-duty bots to enlarge his retweet counts.
2. Trump`s bots are registered with US CA telephone numbers.
3. Some bots have photos stolen from private online photo hosting.
4. Some bots are the targeted fake supporters for cheating on a social media analytics companies before local primaries.
1. Do editors and reporters estimate the significance of news according to social media engagement?
2. Does Trump use bot-generated engagement for imitating popularity of scandal?
3. What about the quality of thousands of retweets and millions of followers of other politics?
4. How can classic media protect itself from social media manipulations?
Data set "300+1"