I’m not the only one in the University of Waterloo English department obsessively watching the U.S. election unfold. (As a nineteenth-century Americanist, I am deeply fearful of the rise and potential future mainstreaming of white nationalism–among other things.) But UWaterloo alumnus Douglas Guilbeault has managed to do something productive with his watching. His article “How Twitter Bots Are Shaping the Election” appears in the latest issue of The Atlantic. An excerpt:
“Bots also silence people and groups who might otherwise have a stake in a conversation. At the same time they make some users seem more popular, they make others less likely to speak. This spiral of silence results in less discussion and diversity in politics. Moreover, bots used to attack journalists might cause them to stop reporting on important issues because they fear retribution and harassment.”
You can read the piece in its entirety on The Atlantic page.
Image source: Smithsonian Magazine.