CIA’s Digital Hammer just announced their next task order: helping to find bots in social media. This is an amazing opportunity to partner with the CIA on technology innovation to advance our country’s national security mission. Being a partner with the CIA is great, however, one might ask what is the importance of identifying bots? Let me break it down for you.

Information is power, especially in todays world. The way in which information spreads is constantly changing as social media continues to evolve. Having easy access to worldwide information is great, but only when that information is correct. As much as social media has been evolving, bots have been evolving as well. Bots are able to act as humans on the internet and spread misinformation – which can be extremely dangerous.

A majority of social media platforms are susceptible to bots. However, certain platforms contain more bots than others as verification requirements can be different for opposing platforms. For example, one social media platform that has a high frequency of bots is Twitter. In a study conducted by researchers at Carnegie Mellon, the researchers were able to find that 88% of the top 1,000 retweeters on certain content are bots.

Having large amounts of your users be bots allows for a major spread of misinformation which can have major side effects. The side effects of large amounts of bots includes extreme polarization, abnormal voting behavior, and hostility towards certain ethnic groups and/or political parties.

Information Technology companies with the capabilities to support this effort should get informed now. Visit their announcement at the Acquisition Resource Center (ARC) to learn more about this endeavor and to toss your hat in the ring to compete for this Task Order!







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