Chapter 19. The cyberfactory. Part zero

The true story

Before you start reading this article, we would like to remind you that our main job is the development of intelligent systems. Journalism is just our hobby. We have to do our based on the metadata independent investigation to show the real situation of social media and digital community. We are pleased that the theme of bots and Trump became covered by the media.

At the end of the week we will do a small media survey, today we would like to draw attention to one of them. The article is “Trump's Twitter provokes huge following, trouble” by Jeff Horwitz and Chad Day, Associated Press, April 21.

For further narration, we need to bring here the ending of the article completely.

But some prolific pro-Trump accounts that have been questioned are run by flesh-and-blood owners.Victoria Gray runs one. The AP reached Gray at her home in small-town North Carolina, where she has lived for many years.

Gray uses Twitter for "eight hours a day, maybe longer," she told AP, posting sometimes hundreds of tweets promoting Trump and questioning his rivals. Currently, Cruz is chief among them. Gray said she believes Cruz, a naturalized U.S. citizen at birth whose mother was American, is not a U.S. citizen because he was born in Canada."This has been the first time I can remember that I really needed to get involved heavily in something, and now that I'm retired, I can," she said.

Even Twitter appears to have been surprised by her dedication."I've had my account shut down twice in the last month by Twitter, thinking it was automated," she said. The company reactivated the account both times after requiring her to confirm she was a real person via phone call.

End of the quotation.

If we have correctly understood, authors meant this account @Genie115. It has been quoted by Trump on April, 7. We classified it as a bot in ourarticle.

This is just fine, that among doubtful accounts, which quoted Trump since the beginning of the year, journalists were able to find a real person. We have been told that each account has its operator. We found hundreds of accounts in which human activity is combined with programmable actions. It is a new type of social media troll.

Perhaps we could be prejudiced in choosing the of supporters, which became the subject of our articles. We would like to have someone of the journalists pointing to the specific account, claiming that it is people. And we have no reason not to trust the independent and objective choice of Associated Press.The basis of the journalist’s work is the verification of the facts and critical thinking.

Let's look at the facts.

1 . Victoria G. Gray joined Twitter in February 2011.

2 . She is the independent supporter of Trump, acting of her convictions.

3 . She has 2992 followers.

4 . Gray uses Twitter for "eight hours a day, maybe longer” according to AP.

5 . Her content mostly consists of original pro-trump photos and collages.

6 . Her account was suspended twice in the last month by Twitter, “thinking it was automated” according to AP.

We do not know how old she was, what she was doing, why she can spend all day long on Twitter.

Now let's apply critical thinking to @Genie115’s behavior, content and community. All these actions can make any investigator, even if he does not have access to the analytics.

According to she adds the photo and description about 4 months ago. Now she has almost 32K tweets. Last month she tweeted about 260 times per day, on average every two minutes. Sometimes she tweets so fast, then Twitter suspended it. Usually, this happens when it reaches 100 tweets per hour.

She is not a primitive retweeter, she posts her or someone’s original pictures. Or it makes them at night and doesn’t sleep at all, or it gets it from somewhere.

Its community consists only of pro-Trump accounts. There are no relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors, and any other people she might know in real life. Or, she is living in a vacuum or does not want any of her friends knew about her new hobby. Is it a strange form of social phobia?

When a person is logged in the social networks, the first followers are relevant people. Analysis the early followers is one of the most effective ways to identify bots.

Her first follower was the account created in 2011, located in Dubai.

Her second one was non-active price aggregator, joined April 2013.

And the third was Hispanic women account with romantic description.

It has no date of creation. Service help us to know it.

At first, test it on the investigated account.

And there is the third follower.

4 years this account exist with 1 or 2 followers. Over the past year, she has gained 2990. By the standards of North Carolina, she is a real social star. 3000 followers, it's a lot even for some media persons.

This is quite usual practice for an ordinary woman who had never been interested in social networks. Why not a young unemployed woman in a provincial town suddenly becomes social media influencer? If you were asked to do something like that, could you?

Without the help of more experienced professionals and advanced community will not be able to generate as much content and simulate the audience. We have the only reasonable explanation. Somebody told her what to do, gave her account, registered in 2011, constantly provides fresh content and followers.

If the account is transferred to any other woman from Ohio, Missouri or Texas, nothing would have changed. It would be possible to post another old scanned photo and continue to do the same. It is absolutely depersonalized. It does not matter, which one of flesh-and-blood owners legitimizes the existence of it.

We have so often come across accounts in which there are a mixture real person and the bot that feel the need to come up with a definition for this phenomenon. A being with both organic and mechatronic body parts called cyborg. Here we see the same thing. We are witnessing the creation of social media cyborgs army.

Who makes Twitter-cyborgs of Trump campaign? Perhaps Victoria tells us?

It was one of the most active pro-Trump accounts. From 4 to 11 April in its description could be found the website. On April 11, he removed all the contents of account and deleted all information from the site, which looked like this.

You can read the Sadbottrue's investigation about it here.