There is political influence on Twitter in SA - data scientist

Based on 28 data sets from millions of tweets collected from as far back as the 2014 general elections, there seems to be some political influence on Twitter.

This is a revelation made by data analytics blog, Superlinear.

The data has revealed the influence of foreign, white nationalist groups, groups that are pro-Radical Economic Transformation, trolls and bots, and bots for hire from the United States.

Data scientist, Kyle Findlay, says the 28 data sets covered various political events like elections, Fees Must Fall protests as well as the ANC's 54th conference.

He looked at whether Twitter has suspended people who've been tweeting about those events. He found that some data sets had about 2000 - 3000 suspended users.

We have to be really vigilant as users on Twitter. If you see two accounts, one from the person you know and another from a stranger and they both have 50 retweets, they are equally not valid.

Kyle Findlay, Data scientist

Those retweets could be from a bot where people want to boost some content.

Kyle Findlay, Data scientist

We always have to think for ourselves as users, don't just agree with what someone who appears to be agreeing with you. Think for yourself and ask critical questions.

Kyle Findlay, Data scientist

To hear the rest of this conversation with Data scientist Kyle Findlay, listen below:


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