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Political Campaigns

Detecting Collusion & Inauthentic Behavior

Bots (computer programs of varying degrees of sophistication that post content online with a phony human identity) and trolls (generally low paid or volunteering humans whose behavior follows carefully defined scripts) are expected to be used at an unprecedented level of boldness in the 2024 U.S. federal election.

Why? Because our brains are wired from millennia of evolution to believe things that many, (apparently) unrelated observers tell us are true. Bots in particular are extraordinarily cost-effective: the incremental cost of each additional bot is essentially zero. Even with limited or no use of humans, a large number of bots can be used to create public impressions about things such as the inevitability of the victory of a particular candidate – or to invent and then validate a “fact.” 

Much like writing a hit song, coming up with good “soundbites” or things that “go viral” is a lot harder than it looks.   This is one of the reasons that it is often the case that the really catchy messages are created by the same handful or two of people – those who are known to be good at it – and then broadcast widely over a cooperating network so as to have maximum reach.

For example, using our algorithms, we were able to determine that in a prior U.S. presidential election, the vast majority of widely repeated messages against the Republican candidate originated from only four individual accounts.  

By contrast, the adjoining graph depicts a genuinely grassroots network relating to a referendum on Catalan independence. 

What Chenope Technology Can Do for Campaigns

    • Detect instances of inauthentic coordinated activity against your candidate that is not properly labeled as being associated with a political organization
    • Detect instances of individual accounts that who are not what or who they claim
    • Visualizing trends and individual instances of collusion and inauthenticity in a public-facing way, to educate the voting public
    • Actively combat instances of coordination in the forums on which they occur