Twitter has a trending feature that shows you what’s trending in a specific region or country. A research team from the EPFL research team at the Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne found that 47% of Turkish trends and 20% of global trends were artificially created by robots.
It is known that there are a large number of bots on Twitter that automatically create tweets masquerading as humans. A 2017 study found that 15% of Twitter’s active users were robots. The research team investigated the impact of these bots on trends in Turkey and around the world.
According to this, an average of 47.5% of the top 5 trends in Turkey are created by bots, and an average of 19.7% of the global top 10 trends are artificially created by bots. The research team also points out that because people often watch Twitter at night, attackers using bots are likely to focus their attacks at night.
According to the research team, artificially manipulating Twitter trends can have a huge impact on society. In fact, the hashtag #SuriyeelilerDefolsun (#SuriyelilerDefolsun), known to have been trended by bots, has also been featured in some news and academic papers. The research team reported on Twitter that the trend was manipulated by bots, but the problem has not been resolved so far. Related information can be found here.