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Goodbye Bots

A call to get rid of the Mexican election Twitter bots

Mexico will celebrate presidential elections on the 1st of July, 2012. One of the contenders is Enrique Peña Nieto, from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled Mexico uninterruptedly for most of the 20th century.

The PRI's campaign is heavily promoted online. One of the spaces where it is very active is Twitter. The PRI has a large number of followers that support and promote their candidate and question the opinions and history of his rivals. That's all fine.

What is not fine is that the PRI campaign has also relied heavily on fake accounts. They have created tens of thousands (or perhaps hundreds of thousands) of profiles that pretend to represent actual users, but do not. These fake accounts publish thousands of messages praising Enrique Peña Nieto and ridiculing his opponents. They also participate in popular hashtags and try to drown them out by publishing large amounts of spam.

These fake accounts, or bots, are used to affect interaction between actual users and to deceive.

The List

We have found over 20,000 bots:

* 20 May 2012, 4,900 spambots: download the list or view in Pastebin.

* 22 May 2012, 1,478 spambots: download the list or view in Pastebin.

* 24 May 2012, 952 spambots: download the list or view in Pastebin.

* 29 May 2012, 8,758 spambots: download the list or view in Pastebin.

* 10 June 2012, 1,117 spambots: download the list or view in Pastebin.

* 30 june 2012, 1,478 bots: download the list or vela en Pastebin.

Gallery

For ideas or comments

you can find me on Twitter: @santiesteban.