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Credit: Max Nanis and Ian Pearce

The results of the experiment, visualized using network graph software, are seen above.

The image shows changes that happened over the course of several days after socialbots were introduced to a target group. The blue dots, or nodes, represent human users, and the green ones bots. The darkness and size of a node corresponds to the number of followers an account has; bigger, darker blue nodes stand for more followers. Lines represent follow relationships, although not necessarily reciprocal ones. A dark blue line indicates a follow relationship that involves at least one user that has many followers in the graph. A green line is a follow between a bot and a human.

The spatial orientation of the nodes was determined by a force-based algorithm, and accounts are clustered according to the number of mutual friends or followers they have.

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Tagged: Communications, Web

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