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Internet bots made up a quarter of Twitter posts about climate change, a new study has found.
According to the Guardian, research, conducted by Brown University analyzed 6.5 million tweets from June 2017 – when POTUS Donal Trump announced plans to remove the United States from the Paris Agreement.
It revealed that on an average day during the study period, 25 percent of all tweets about climate change came from mechanized bots. This increased to 38 percent when tweeting about ‘fake science’.
28 percent of bot-generated tweets were about Exxon Mobil – one of the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas companies.
Around five percent of tweets categorized as ‘online activism to support action on the climate crisis’ featured bots.
“These findings suggest a substantial impact of mechanized bots in amplifying denialist messages about climate change, including support for Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement,” states the draft study, seen by the Guardian.
Ph.D. candidate Thomas Marlow who led the research explained how the study came to fruition, stating he was ‘always kind of wondering why there are persistent levels of denial about something that the science is more or less settled on’.