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Oktober 2021

The Rise and Fall of Social Bot Research

The next Leibniz Media Lecture will be presented by the Digital Disinformation Hub at HBI. Prof. Dr. Florian Gallwitz and Michael Kreil will talk about the Rise and Fall of Social Bot Research.
Dr. Clara Iglesias Keller will provide the introduction. The event will be held in English.


Monday, 18 October 2021, 4 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.


The event will take place online on Zoom. After the registration you will receive the dial-in data by mail shortly before the event starts.

About the Lecture

The idea that social media is populated by countless "social bots" has become widely accepted. "Social bots" are assumed to be automated social media accounts operated by malicious actors with the aim of manipulating public opinion. Alleged "social bot armies" have been reported during the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum, and, more recently, in the context of the Covid19 pandemic. In fact, however, the relevant research is based on inappropriate methods, the failure of which the researchers regularly try to conceal by withholding the raw data. The alleged "bots" from these studies are almost exclusively normal people who are misinterpreted as "bots".

About the Speakers

Prof. Dr. Florian Gallwitz is professor of computer science and media at the Nuremberg Institute of Technology. His main areas of expertise include pattern recognition in digital media and natural language-based human-computer interaction.
Michael Kreil is specialised in the analysis and processing of very large amounts of data for over two decades. For the last 10 years he has worked as a data scientist and data journalist. Since 2020, he has been working at BR Data.

About the Digital Disinformation Hub

Considering the Institute’s long tradition in interdisciplinary media studies, the Digital Disinformation Hub is a research project aiming at strengthening the Institute’s contributions to this debate. This is to be achieved by promoting multidisciplinary collaborations between researchers, by gathering and systematically bringing together internal and external research expertise in the field of disinformation, by promoting conceptual and epistemological approaches to disinformation, and by building external collaborations.

Infos zur Veranstaltung


via Zoom

Contact person

Dr. Wiebke Schoon
Research Transfer and Events

Dr. Wiebke Schoon

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg
Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 50
Fax +49 (0)40 45 02 17 77

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