Botcheck Chrome Plugin identifies propaganda and bots on Twitter

Twitter, Facebook and Google appeared before the US Congress today to explain their difficulties in identifying bots, propaganda and 'fake news'. Fortunately, others do not seem to have the same difficulties.

The latest addition to the plug-in collection is an extension for Google Chrome which monitors accounts for bot-like behavior and propaganda and then flags it for users. The Botcheck.me website allows users to check specific Twitter accounts which they are suspicious of and (similar to the Hamilton 68 website) provides information on what is trending among "high-confidence" Russian propaganda accounts.

According to their website: "Behavior such as tweeting every few minutes in a full day, endorsing polarizing political propaganda (including fake news), obtaining a large follower account in a relatively small time span, and constant retweeting/promoting other high-confidence bot accounts are all traits that lead to high-confidence bot accounts. These are the accounts that we aim to classify and bring to the attention of the Twitter community."

The extension for Google Chrome provides one-click access to Botcheck analysis without visiting the website.



Botcheck was created by two 20-year-old UC Berkeley students, Ash Bhat and Rohan Phadte. It reportedly took them two months to create the tool.

As a side note, examples of the propaganda spread by Russian troll farms on Facebook were released today.

Information on other browswer extensions to help with fake news detection can be found here.
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