Bots do damage with little chance for fight back

With the 2020 presidential election fast nearing, there is increased concern about proliferating Chatbots, phony messages purported to come from real people but with fake names, bios and photos. A fifth of tweets about the 2016 elections were published by bots. In 2017, public comments on a Federal Communications Commission consideration of net neutrality tallied an estimated 11 million out of 22 million comments came from bots. Given the limits of technological solutions, it may be necessary to stop visiting social media sites with commentary, especially during elections. (The Atlantic, January 7, 2020, by Bruce Schneier)

Attorney Jamie Susskind,The New York Times, December 4, 2018, noting the damage from bots two years ago, warned that contemplative discourse on the internet could be a thing of the past as bots rip up comments within seconds. Wealthy citizens would also have an advantage in deploying superior bots. Perhaps laws could be passed to prohibit bots on political forums or require platforms to clearly identify bots.

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