Twitter Deception And Influence: Issues Of Identity, Slacktivism, And Puppetry
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Computer and Security Science / Security Research Institute
There is a lack of clarity within the social media domain about the number of discrete participants. Influence and measurement within new media is skewed towards the biggest numbers, resulting in fake tweets, sock puppets, and a range of force multipliers such as botnets, application programming interfaces (APIs), and cyborgs. Social media metrics are sufficiently manipulated away from authentic discrete usage so that the trustworthiness of identity, narrative, and authority are constantly uncertain. Elections, social causes, political agendas and new modes of online governance can now be influenced by a range of virtual entities that can cajole and redirect opinions without affirming identity or allegiance. Using the 2013 Australian Federal Election as a case study, this study demonstrates the need to increase legitimacy and validity in micro-blogging forms of new media and the need for multi-factor authentication.