Prof. Ben Zhao interviewed for Chicago PBS

Prof. Ben Zhao interviewed for Chicago PBS story on Fake Twitter accounts

“Social Media Scams: Public Figures Under Fire for Buying Fake Followers”

"University of Chicago computer science professor Ben Zhao said many Twitter bots serve a beneficial purpose, like the account @earthquakesSF, which automatically tweets earthquake data from the United States Geological Survey."

“A company like Twitter has, in some sense, kept alive a good amount of bots and software, so that’s the legitimate side of the bot system,” Zhao said. “But as we’ve seen with Twitter or Facebook, there’s been a lot of undue influence on these social platforms for the purposes of amplifying particular political campaigns and agendas.”

Zhao pointed out that the problem often conflicts with the incentives of social media companies to grow user bases and distribute mass amounts of information quickly and easily.

“Because of how good these tools are at their own business, they become ideal weapons in the information wars,” Zhao said."

Read full article here.

Published January 31, 2018 by Evan Garcia, Chicago Tonight