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If Democrats want to spend what little cash they have on an army of worthless Twitter bots, we should do everything we can to encourage that plan

Please Democrats, believe the report that says Twitter bots elected Donald Trump


By —— Bio and Archives--May 23, 2018

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Please Democrats, believe the report that says Twitter bots elected Donald Trump
Democrats are still desperate to explain their 2016 loss, and they’re desperate to do so without admitting that Hillary Clinton personifies most of their horrible, unworkable, rejected, beliefs. The candidate herself has become famous for her “everyone and everything but me” blame game – to the point where even former supporters are telling her to pipe down and go away.  She’s not going to.  Frankly, I suspect she’s in capable of doing so.

However, even if she was inclined to shuffle off the stage, this bit of fluff from Bloomberg would probably keep her going for another 3 months.  A new, and utterly dubious, “study” claims that mysterious “Twitter bots” were worth 3 points in 2016 – and they swung the election to Donald Trump.

Twitter bots may have altered the outcome of two of the world’s most consequential elections in recent years, according to an economic study.

Automated tweeting played a small but potentially decisive role in the 2016 Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s presidential victory, the National Bureau of Economic Research working paper showed this month. Their rough calculations suggest bots added 1.76 percentage point to the pro-“leave” vote share as Britain weighed whether to remain in the European Union, and may explain 3.23 percentage points of the actual vote for Trump in the U.S. presidential race.

“Our results suggest that, given narrow margins of victories in each vote, bots’ effect was likely marginal but possibly large enough to affect the outcomes,” according to authors Yuriy Gorodnichenko from the University of California at Berkeley and Tho Pham and Oleksandr Talavera from Swansea University in the U.K.

Skeptical? That’s good. You should be.  This sounds like a complete pipe dream.

It feels even flimsier when you read how they arrived at their 3.23 point conclusion…

To figure out how tweeting influenced votes, the study authors looked at the share of pro-leave or pro-Trump tweets by geography to check how closely votes were correlated with Twitter activity. They then figured out how much the accounts they defined as bots added to the volume of tweets advocating Brexit or Trump, and extrapolated from there.

Uh-huh. I’m not going to get into the mathematical weeds, because it’s not necessary to do so. The fact that Bloomberg indicates their data “may explain 3.23 percentage points” is all you really need to debunk this.  “May” is not science.  There’s no proof here that districts that went for Trump were, in any way, influenced by the Tweets.  Heck, there’s no way to even know that Trump voters saw them, let alone let them impact their decision at the ballot box.

“May” covers the fact that this report can’t prove that the Tweets actually caused anything at all. If there’s no provable causation, there’s no provable impact.  Still, we’re 100% sure that Hillary and her bitter clingers will repeat this claim ad nauseam. Honestly, we should all hope they really believe it.

If Democrats want to spend what little cash they have on an army of worthless Twitter bots, we should do everything we can to encourage that plan.


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Robert Laurie -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Robert Laurie’s column is distributed by HermanCain.com, which can be found at HermanCain.com

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