Automation, Algorithms, and Politics | When Bots Tweet by Nathalie Marechal

October 13, 2016

Automation, Algorithms, and Politics| When Bots Tweet: Toward a Normative Framework for Bots on Social Networking Sites (Feature, International Journal of Communication)


Political actors are using algorithms and automation to sway public opinion, notably through the use of “bot” accounts on social networking sites. This article considers the responsibility of social networking sites and other platforms to respect human rights, such as freedom of expression and privacy. It then proposes a set of standards for chat bots operating on these platforms, building on the existing policies of leading social networking platforms and on the indicators laid out by Ranking Digital Rights. A good normative framework for the use of bots on social networking sites should have three components: bots should clearly be labeled as such, they should not contact other users without consent, and information collected by them should only be used for disclosed purposes.

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