Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency’s impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017

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Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency’s impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017. / Bail, Christopher A.; Guay, Brian; Maloney, Emily; Combs, Aidan; Hillygus, D. Sunshine; Merhout, Friedolin; Freelon, Deen; Volfovsky, Alexander.

I: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Bind 117, Nr. 1, 07.01.2020, s. 243-250.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Harvard

Bail, CA, Guay, B, Maloney, E, Combs, A, Hillygus, DS, Merhout, F, Freelon, D & Volfovsky, A 2020, 'Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency’s impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, bind 117, nr. 1, s. 243-250. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1906420116

APA

Bail, C. A., Guay, B., Maloney, E., Combs, A., Hillygus, D. S., Merhout, F., ... Volfovsky, A. (2020). Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency’s impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(1), 243-250. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1906420116

Vancouver

Bail CA, Guay B, Maloney E, Combs A, Hillygus DS, Merhout F o.a. Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency’s impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2020 jan 7;117(1):243-250. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1906420116

Author

Bail, Christopher A. ; Guay, Brian ; Maloney, Emily ; Combs, Aidan ; Hillygus, D. Sunshine ; Merhout, Friedolin ; Freelon, Deen ; Volfovsky, Alexander. / Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency’s impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017. I: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2020 ; Bind 117, Nr. 1. s. 243-250.

Bibtex

@article{1aa037a21c6f4d63a47f1d150330d08e,
title = "Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency’s impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017",
abstract = "There is widespread concern that Russia and other countries have launched social-media campaigns designed to increase political divisions in the United States. Though a growing number of studies analyze the strategy of such campaigns, it is not yet known how these efforts shaped the political attitudes and behaviors of Americans. We study this question using longitudinal data that describe the attitudes and online behaviors of 1,239 Republican and Democratic Twitter users from late 2017 merged with nonpublic data about the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) from Twitter. Using Bayesian regression tree models, we find no evidence that interaction with IRA accounts substantially impacted 6 distinctive measures of political attitudes and behaviors over a 1-mo period. We also find that interaction with IRA accounts were most common among respondents with strong ideological homophily within their Twitter network, high interest in politics, and high frequency of Twitter usage. Together, these findings suggest that Russian trolls might have failed to sow discord because they mostly interacted with those who were already highly polarized. We conclude by discussing several important limitations of our study—especially our inability to determine whether IRA accounts influenced the 2016 presidential election—as well as its implications for future research on social media influence campaigns, political polarization, and computational social science.",
keywords = "Faculty of Social Sciences, misinformation, social media, political polarization, computational social science",
author = "Bail, {Christopher A.} and Brian Guay and Emily Maloney and Aidan Combs and Hillygus, {D. Sunshine} and Friedolin Merhout and Deen Freelon and Alexander Volfovsky",
year = "2020",
month = "1",
day = "7",
doi = "10.1073/pnas.1906420116",
language = "English",
volume = "117",
pages = "243--250",
journal = "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America",
issn = "0027-8424",
publisher = "The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America",
number = "1",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency’s impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017

AU - Bail, Christopher A.

AU - Guay, Brian

AU - Maloney, Emily

AU - Combs, Aidan

AU - Hillygus, D. Sunshine

AU - Merhout, Friedolin

AU - Freelon, Deen

AU - Volfovsky, Alexander

PY - 2020/1/7

Y1 - 2020/1/7

N2 - There is widespread concern that Russia and other countries have launched social-media campaigns designed to increase political divisions in the United States. Though a growing number of studies analyze the strategy of such campaigns, it is not yet known how these efforts shaped the political attitudes and behaviors of Americans. We study this question using longitudinal data that describe the attitudes and online behaviors of 1,239 Republican and Democratic Twitter users from late 2017 merged with nonpublic data about the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) from Twitter. Using Bayesian regression tree models, we find no evidence that interaction with IRA accounts substantially impacted 6 distinctive measures of political attitudes and behaviors over a 1-mo period. We also find that interaction with IRA accounts were most common among respondents with strong ideological homophily within their Twitter network, high interest in politics, and high frequency of Twitter usage. Together, these findings suggest that Russian trolls might have failed to sow discord because they mostly interacted with those who were already highly polarized. We conclude by discussing several important limitations of our study—especially our inability to determine whether IRA accounts influenced the 2016 presidential election—as well as its implications for future research on social media influence campaigns, political polarization, and computational social science.

AB - There is widespread concern that Russia and other countries have launched social-media campaigns designed to increase political divisions in the United States. Though a growing number of studies analyze the strategy of such campaigns, it is not yet known how these efforts shaped the political attitudes and behaviors of Americans. We study this question using longitudinal data that describe the attitudes and online behaviors of 1,239 Republican and Democratic Twitter users from late 2017 merged with nonpublic data about the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) from Twitter. Using Bayesian regression tree models, we find no evidence that interaction with IRA accounts substantially impacted 6 distinctive measures of political attitudes and behaviors over a 1-mo period. We also find that interaction with IRA accounts were most common among respondents with strong ideological homophily within their Twitter network, high interest in politics, and high frequency of Twitter usage. Together, these findings suggest that Russian trolls might have failed to sow discord because they mostly interacted with those who were already highly polarized. We conclude by discussing several important limitations of our study—especially our inability to determine whether IRA accounts influenced the 2016 presidential election—as well as its implications for future research on social media influence campaigns, political polarization, and computational social science.

KW - Faculty of Social Sciences

KW - misinformation

KW - social media

KW - political polarization

KW - computational social science

U2 - 10.1073/pnas.1906420116

DO - 10.1073/pnas.1906420116

M3 - Journal article

C2 - 31767743

VL - 117

SP - 243

EP - 250

JO - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

JF - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

SN - 0027-8424

IS - 1

ER -

ID: 239129980