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Battle of the bots: AOC under attack

Graph of real and fake account activity on AOC's X account.

Graph of real and fake account activity on AOC's X account.

Ari Winkleman
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is most well-known for her progressive politics. But in today’s online world, being well-known on social media, especially as a polarizing political figure, is both a gift and a curse. When these accounts post about controversial topics, like the war in Gaza or college campus protests, they are likely to be targeted by misinformation campaigns by bots.

GZERO teamed up with Cyabra, a disinformation detection firm, to investigate how fake actors on the internet could be shaping interactions with AOC’s posts.

They found that 27% of responses to her X posts condemning US involvement in Israel’s Gaza operations and Columbia University’s use of police against protesters were from fake accounts.

The most common words used by the fake accounts were “Hamas” and “terrorist,” and their comments were usually accusing the congresswoman of sympathizing with terrorists or inciting violence. Many also compared the student protests to the Jan. 6 riots, proposing that there was a double standard to the protesters’ political agenda.


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