On the Influence of Social Bots in Online Protests

Preliminary Findings of a Mexican Case Study
  • Pablo Suárez-SerratoEmail author
  • Margaret E. Roberts
  • Clayton Davis
  • Filippo Menczer
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10047)


Social bots can affect online communication among humans. We study this phenomenon by focusing on #YaMeCanse, the most active protest hashtag in the history of Twitter in Mexico. Accounts using the hashtag are classified using the BotOrNot bot detection tool. Our preliminary analysis suggests that bots played a critical role in disrupting online communication about the protest movement.


Social bots Twitter Protests 



We thank IPAM at UCLA and the organizers of the Cultural Analytics program, where this work was first conceived, for a wonderful working environment and for bringing diverse fields together. PSS is thankful to the Primrose Foundation for coding help. We thank Alberto Escorcia for collecting the tweet data and giving us access to it, and also Twitter for allowing access to data through their APIs.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pablo Suárez-Serrato
    • 1
    Email author
  • Margaret E. Roberts
    • 2
  • Clayton Davis
    • 3
  • Filippo Menczer
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto de MatemáticasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  3. 3.School of Informatics and Computing, Center for Complex Networks and Systems ResearchIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.Indiana University Network Science InstituteBloomingtonUSA

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