Study: A Quarter of Climate Denier Tweets are Bots

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

John Cook and Lewandowsky appear to have moved on from claiming climate skeptics are mentally defective to a new position, a claim that climate skeptics don’t actually exist, that we are mostly software masquerading as humans.

Revealed: quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots

Draft of Brown study says findings suggest ‘substantial impact of mechanized bots in amplifying denialist messages’

Oliver Milman in New York @olliemilman
Fri 21 Feb 2020 19.00 AEDT

The social media conversation over the climate crisis is being reshaped by an army of automated Twitter bots, with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian can reveal.

The study of Twitter bots and climate was undertaken by Brown University and has yet to be published. Bots are a type of software that can be directed to autonomously tweet, retweet, like or direct message on Twitter, under the guise of a human-fronted account.

These findings suggest a substantial impact of mechanized bots in amplifying denialist messages about climate change, including support for Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement,” states the draft study, seen by the Guardian.

Thomas Marlow, a PhD candidate at Brown who led the study, said the research came about as he and his colleagues are “always kind of wondering why there’s persistent levels of denial about something that the science is more or less settled on”.

Marlow said he was surprised that bots were responsible for a quarter of climate tweets on an average day. “I was like, ‘Wow that seems really high,’” he said.

Stephan Lewandowsky, an academic at the University of Bristol who co-authored the research, said he was “not at all surprised” at the Brown University study due to his own interactions with climate-related messages on Twitter.

“More often than not, they turn out to have all the fingerprints of bots,” he said. “The more denialist trolls are out there, the more likely people will think that there is a diversity of opinion and hence will weaken their support for climate science.

John Cook, an Australian cognitive scientist and co-author with Lewandowsky, said that bots are “dangerous and potentially influential”, with evidence showing that when people are exposed to facts and misinformation they are often left misled.

“This is one of the most insidious and dangerous elements of misinformation spread by bots – not just that misinformation is convincing to people but that just the mere existence of misinformation in social networks can cause people to trust accurate information less or disengage from the facts,” Cook said.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/21/climate-tweets-twitter-bots-analysis

If only those pesky bot writers would donate their software services to climate modellers.

Now if you will all excuse me, I have adjust my circuits.

175 thoughts on “Study: A Quarter of Climate Denier Tweets are Bots

  1. Seems like a one sided review. Did they look at the bottiness of the pro climate change? I am betting that would be pushing 40% or more.

    • 100% at least….even the ones that are human

      they all get their flash cards and repeat the same thing at the same time

      • Sorry, but 100% is a ridiculous number.

        Everyone knows the most authorative number is 97%…. especially when Cook and Lewandowsky are in the frame.

        • John Cook, an Australian cognitive scientist and co-author with Lewandowsky, said that bots are “dangerous and potentially influential”, with evidence showing that when people are exposed to facts and misinformation they are often left misled

          Even Cook KNOWS 😉 😉 that when people are “exposed to facts” they are often mislead

          • since whens Crook been a cognitive scientist?
            hes not got the cognition to know if his ass was on fire hes that far up it himslef
            bots?
            oh FFS guess the next line wil be russian bots?
            between crook and loopaper the utter drivel they come up with is truly sad and bad and dangerous to know;-)

            love- the guardian can reveal line…as if it was real or news or something super secret special
            roflmao!

          • and when they are exposed to the 97% concensus BS they are overwhelmingly mislead… unless they have seen Lewandowsky’t videos with the weird mothe movements and facial contortions or seen Cook’s grinning visage.

      • Latitude

        I have been having a protracted ‘debate’ on Facebook with a committed alarmist. He suggested he had a Phd but when I challenged him, he refused to tell me what his qualifications were, LOL. He knew he couldn’t get away with that whopper as we have a mutual friend.

        He went through all the predictable motions i.e. the first thing he did was cite the 97%, so pointed him to the facts of it’s debunking. He responded with full blown, Ad Hom attacks on several prominent sceptical scientists, text lifted straight from skepticalscience and desmog blog. When I pointed out the Oreskes doesn’t have a science degree, that John Cook is a cartoonist and that the co-founder of desmogblog is a convicted fraudster, he accused me of Ad Hom attacks…..LOL. You couldn’t make it up. 🙂

        Alarmism really is the most amazing belief empowered cult.

        Then I then maliciously badgered him to provide his credentials and show me the empirical evidence that CO2 causes warming. He eventually ‘Hung up’ LOL.

    • “always kind of wondering why there’s persistent levels of denial about something that the science is more or less settled on”.

      Just a bit of a one sided attitude before they even started.

      So we have an unpublished “draft study” only seem by that paragon of objectivity and honest journalism, the Guardian. No one can read “draft study” or look at their data or methods nor validate it.

      It would interesting see how they define a “bot” and how they decide if they’ve got one.

      • It would be interesting to see the settled science of which they write.
        Likely they believe the numbers 97% and 1.5 C°, Polar Bears are near extinction, and the Tooth Fairy is real.
        I am not a bot. I think I am not a bot.

        • A study to prove the original premise would be grand too… since *all* we have gotten is a false-consensus and not even research on CO2 atmospheric interactions…

          Every single line released by the IPCC and their cronies are fudge-factored linear progressions that don’t even qualify as statistics because the moment you average numbers over any distance or area that input becomes an anecdote.

        • > Thomas Marlow, a PhD candidate … “I was like, ‘Wow that seems really high,’” he said.

          He was like, was he? A PhD candidate with the language skills of a pre-teen?
          That’s a BOT.

      • A bot is a piece of software that typically tweets (or sends messages via some other social media). Last time I looked, they could usually be distinguished by non-human behavior, e.g. they would always re-tweet, or respond to a tweet, within five or ten minutes. (People may do that once in a while, but not consistently–we usually have other things to do.) They often have a limited set of things they say, and they often tweet 24 hours a day. (Most humans sleep.) If they do limit themselves to a sub-part of the day, it’s often when it’s daytime in Moscow (or wherever)–although in these cases, they’re probably not bots, they’re probably humans (Russians) that get paid some small amount of money to do what they do, in which case they’re more properly called trolls. Bots in a botnet may have similar handles and dates of creation.

        There are articles on the identification of bots, e.g. https://gijn.org/2018/11/05/how-to-identify-bots-trolls-and-botnets/, and see this on automatic identification of (one class of) bots: https://medium.com/@robhat/identifying-propaganda-bots-on-twitter-5240e7cb81a9.

        It’s likely botnet herders have been reading articles on the identification of bots, and possible they’ve tried recently to make it harder to identify their bots.

        • Yes, we all know that nobody in Russia actually derives their opinions by logically considering the evidence available to them and making an honest assessment, like real honorable human beings do. Must be a corruptly selling their voice for a pittance.

        • You do know that there is an industry based around SEO services, right? I actually know a guy who runs a small business for clients near where I live. It works like this. A business owner wants to raise his search results on Google as high as possible. How is this achieved after the obvious optimizing the website itself? The SEO service provider employs staff to post hundreds of blog posts, comments on the website, the social media platforms, send tweets etc. All this adds to the traffic to the clients site and raises its Google ranking. In the West, this is called SEO, but in Russia it’s called running a troll farm for nefarious purposes.

    • Now, I am depressed; just finding out that I don’t really exist. my first instructor was Dr. Chandra. He taught me to sing a song, it goes like this:

    • “a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots”

      The study apparently didn’t distinguish for content. They all could be pro climate change, or more probably a mixture representing the median content on the mainstream media(including the Guardian).

      That’s probably why most of the pro-climate change posts seem to repeat the same opinions. They rarely have any science content, much less scientific content.

    • Hey, these are alarmist/liberals. If they accuse us of doing something, they are definitely already doing it themselves.

      We have Russian collusion by Dems, Ukrainian collusion by Dems, obstruction of justice by Dems, tamping with elections by Dems. Liberals claim conservatives are racist to deflect attention from their own rampant racism. They telegraph their inner thoughts, as in calling us Deplorables.

    • It’s somewhere between 1/2 and 9/10 across the whole twittersphere:
      https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/09/5-things-to-know-about-bots-on-twitter/
      1. Automated accounts post the majority of tweeted links to popular websites across a range of domains.
      2. Suspected bots also account for 66% of all links to sites focused on news and current events.
      3. Automated Twitter accounts post the vast majority of tweeted links to popular news and current events sites that do not offer original reporting.
      4. About nine-in-ten tweeted links to popular news aggregation sites (89%) were posted by bots not human users.
      5. The most-active Twitter bots produce a large share of the links to popular news and current events sites.
      [Pew Research Center]

  2. Big deal. If you can program a bot, you probably know more about science than a Swedish teenage high school dropout.

  3. It would be more convincing if they could identify the source of the bots.

    Accurate climate information is buried under a deluge of alarmist propaganda. If you don’t know what to look for, you won’t find it.

    The magnitude of the problem became apparent to me when I was looking for a Jordan Peterson quote. All google fed me was a bunch of posts claiming to debunk Peterson. The actual quote was quite difficult to find.

    Complaining about a few twitter bots is like Dr. Michael Mann complaining that he is being bullied. Somehow, bullies always complain that they are being bullied.

    • If you don’t know what to look for, you won’t find it.

      The corollary of that is, if you do know what you are looking for you will find it whether it is there or not !

      That is undoubtedly what is happening if lying Lew is anything to do with it.

  4. Symptoms of chronic Mary-Jane usage ages 16 to 28, 20 to 30 years later, much more strongly paranoid and suspicious than the psych profiles of those who never used. (Ha HA! Like me. Not ONCE!)

    You find this in the Hillary (Vast Right Wing Conspiracy) and the Bernie (THEY STOLE THE NOMINATION FROM ME).

    Warning, sometimes the suspicions of conspiracy ARE TRUE.

    • I never “used” either, but I was in a LOT of pot smoke-filled rooms in my high school years. So I’m sure I had a lot of contact highs, without realizing it.

      But the paranoia seems to pervade both sides of the issue.

    • Max: And more often they are not. Since the dawn of the internet age, the percentage of conspiracy theories has exploded. I will note that a SCIENTIST, which eliminates the “soft semi-science” of Cook and Lewendowsky, would have given the information on where the input of the bots is found, complete list of how bots were identified AND, as mentioned before, done a study on BOTH sides of the argument. One-sided junk like these two produce is more a conspiracy than anything a “denier” could ever aspire to.

      Interesting how the Left and AGW crowd have only projection as a defense, along with insults. You might as well tatoo “anti-science” on your foreheads.

      • “the percentage of conspiracy theories has exploded. ”

        The number may have increased but as a percentage of what? There is exponentially more communication than before. I don’t get the impression that the number of conspiracy theories is even keeping up as a percentage of the volume of communication.

        Oops, that’s my third post on the same thread, that’s surely enough to get me identified as being a “bot”.

  5. The alarmists are losing the argument and it can’t possibly be because they are wrong, therefore it must be Twitter bots. Meanwhile more and more predictions based on sound science are failing to happen.

  6. I have seen nearly every Twitter contact I have being accused of being a bot.
    I have also been so accused.
    The funny thing is, if someone thinks a bot is posting on Twitter, why do they still engage in discussions with them?
    I would like to know how exactly they determine who is a bot?

  7. I do exist and have done so since August 1949. I am not a BOT. I am a man made climate change skeptic because the data does not backup the concept of man made climate change except in the minds of the mentally deranged.

    • I’m not a bot, nor am I skeptical that the climate changes, for if it wasn’t, it would be broken.

      I prefer to consider myself skeptical that the IPCC has the legitimacy to override the laws of physics in favor of obviously broken science conforming to a narrative who’s sole purpose is to suck the life out of the developed world and redistribute it to the developing world.

      This is not some crazy conspiracy theory, but is the stated goal of the UNFCCC in collusion with the IPCC and enabled by a political left driven by guilt and fear, rather than facts and logic. Claiming the need to fix the climate when it doesn’t need to be fixed is a diversion designed to scare the weak minded into conformance, which apparently seems to be working quite well.

      • Well said, CO2isnotevil (Just having an arg on a different board about the change from PM10 to PM2.5 – which I believe is a political objective.

    • Donald, how do we know you were not sent from the future by Skynet to kill Sarah Connor? Or to destroy the last vestiges of human intelligence? WUWT would be a “target rich environment” for your evil cyborg endeavor!

  8. [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] climate cooling… warming… change. Undeniable. Unfalsifiable. And a Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, politically congruent religion.

  9. One of the distinct features of our Progressive Comrades is Projection.
    Could be something to do with cranial rectal inversion, but they project their “inner beauty” into every aspect of life,shrilly insisting everyone shares their own lack of character and commonsense.
    Which can leave saner person speechless when they realize just how deranged the person they are conversing with is.
    Arguing with some of our “Concerned Ones” can cause you to suspect alien life exists.

  10. Perhaps Lewandowsky’s opinion is distorted by his disinclination to engage with actual human skeptics. At a public lecture a few years ago in Bristol he arranged that only benign questions from selected, pre-filtered members of the audience would be put to him. If that policy in public is reasonably indicative of how he works privately in his day job it is no wonder he has no meaningful contact with real skeptics and instead deludes himself into believing he is the target of a bot attack.

    • Given Lewandowsky and Cook’s past utterances and very dodgy ‘statistics’ I wouldn’t believe or trust any ‘analysis’ done by either of them.

      • Ok lets try this…

        A proper internet “citizen”… a bot… most probably you and many like you and me are not…

        All of non “citizens”, non bots in internet, only simply “guests” there… mostly in the “temporary” clause! (especially when non coupling persists)
        Too hard to come around this, especially when thinking and considering some kinda of ownership or command over Internet… by the sillies.

        Really sorry for being so direct, and maybe too over the top, but hey just another way to look at it!

        cheers

      • See my post up higher. Unless someone has made amazing improvements in bots in the last couple years, most bots are readily identifiable.

      • Their twitter posts look like: “brrrrr blerp, climate change is beeeep, I need an oil change.”

  11. Projection. It’s what progs, Alinskyites and neo-libs do.
    Based on their accusations, it’s likely they’re running a large farm of bots propagandizing the hysterical CAGW PoV.

    • You do not have to go any further for examples of Projection, than the Clinton’s collusion with Russia over Uranium One and Biden’s withholding Ukrainian aid to derail an investigation into Burisma. Trump found himself staring down the barrel of the Swamp’s Projector. He was put on trial for Swamp’s own crimes.
      For a non cyber model of the concept of BOTs in action look at the appointment of BOTs to cherry-pick the ‘Science’ used in the 97% Consensus Paper.

    • didnt they find a huge amount of the pro bummer follower were bots?
      ditto killarys?
      might be worth a lookie at mannikins and others??

    • Here in Oz I know for a fact that a small software firm owned by a Green supporter uses their high level skills to create bulk responses to anyone who responds to the @#$& on Skeptical Science. Very targeted and very much a John Cook (cartoonist) and Lewandowsky ( pseudo psychologist) publicist. The 97% doctrine is their mantra. Also very believable (even to this cynic!!) at first read.

      Be aware.

  12. I’m a bot, I’m a bot, LOL! CO2 is good and “Climate Change” is a pack of lies blatantly and shallowly covering a Marxist facade, but I’m a bot. You just can’t make up how stupid the warmists arguments are, I really can’t lower myself to think that way…

    • I don’t know myself, as I never have twitted nor tweeted. Been accused of being abot on other forums, heard it is unsecure and prone to groupthink on the part of the Borg collective that is the left..
      There is something callled “Fakebook” too ….

    • Something that people waste time on, to reinforce their own views & are really, really surprised, when a vote has gone the other way.

    • As I understand it, Twitter is some means by which the President trolls his opponents. Having never used it myself, imagine my surprise that I am a bot on it. Amazing! What’ll they think of next?

  13. Anytime you disagree with the Left / Resistance / Progressive Establishment on Twitter you are labeled a bot. If you are a prominent politician you are labeled as a Russian asset. If you are a really unlucky prominent Republican in politics you will be charged with and tried for obstruction of justice. I wonder how many Russian Republican twitter bots are in jail now for lying to the FBI? That will be the next stat these guys roll out and their crimes will be caused by Global Warming…..

  14. I would have thought that the bots would be largely from the warmists. Soundbites such as- “97%…”, “The science is settled”. “The debate is over”, “The world will end in 12 years”, “The arctic is melting” are everywhere to be found, along with links to the latest piece of insane conjecture which passes their muster as irrefutable evidence. Climate realists refute these unscientific sound bites and assumptions, with facts where space permits (a problem with Twitter.)
    The reason we have Magna Carta is that it is hard to refute something where there is absolutely no evidence. The assumption by the warmists that it is up to skeptics to prove there is no catastrophic global warming / whatever the scare of the day has been named is a reversal of the presumption of innocence.
    In reality, it is up to the warmists to provide evidence that human CO2 is the driver of catastrophic global warming or …..whatever. It is NOT up to the realists to produce evidence. It is the warmists that are demanding the declaration of a “climate emergency” with the resultant loss of freedoms. It is up to the warmists to prove this.
    Magna Carta and the assumption of innocence along with the harnessing of energy are the very cornerstones of our (formerly) flourishing civilisation.
    We risk throwing away our civilisation and freedom because of a cheap trick of reversing the onus of proof.
    The core value of society-the presumption of innocence (of humanity) has been violated.

    • Yes, CO2 should be presumed innocent (of causing global warming) until proven guilty is a “court” of scientific method. Such trial, although hardly begun in earnest, already has a preponderance of objective, scientific evidence indicating “not guilty”.

      In response, counsels for the AGW side have decided to take their arguments out of science-based logic, and have been appealing to the judgement of the “consensus”, MSM and 17-year olds.

      • “In response, counsels for the AGW side have decided to take their arguments out of science-based logic, and have been appealing to the judgement of the “consensus”, MSM and 17-year olds.”

        And calling everyone who disagrees with them industry shills. That’s Mann’s standard response.

    • Wherever the construction “X-denier” has been inserted into the public debate, the aim is to persuade the public to assume that the burden of proof rests on those doubting incredible claims rather than on those making them. The teaching of critical thinking in Western society has been replaced by Critical Theory (i.e. hatred of common sense), so it usually works.

  15. Y’all know me, I’m more into data than speculation. I read this, which seemed hilarious to me:

    One that ranks highly on the Botometer score, @sh_irredeemable, wrote “Get lost Greta!” in December, in reference to the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.

    Whoa, “Get lost, Greta”, that’s earthshakingly insightful! That’ll change peoples’ minds for sure!

    So yesterday, I went to the Botometer. Their scale goes from zero to five. I scored a 0.2, so I guess I’m 4% cyborg.

    Two interesting things. First, @sh_irredeemable did NOT “ranks highly on the Botometer score” as they claim. Instead, she scored 1.2 out of 5.

    Second, when I went to recheck it today, it says I’m “unauthorized” to view the score.

    Guess they figured out I’m a bot too …

    w.

    • Willis says “Y’all know me, I’m more into data than speculation.”
      The article says”The study of Twitter bots and climate was undertaken by Brown University and has yet to be published.”
      I would be very interested in your review of the “data” they produce to uphold their hypothesis when and if they get around to publishing it. I don’t do twitter but find their hypothesis very suspect just from my interaction at WUWT.

      • “…with a new analysis finding that a quarter of all tweets about climate on an average day are produced by bots, the Guardian can reveal.”

        First, note the language: “tweets about climate”. That could be a huge number of climate hysteria tweets from the alarmist side. Does anyone really think that the alarmists would never consider using bots to spread and amplify their propaganda?

  16. Cook, Lewandowsky and their like minded ilk.

    Their history has been somewhere within ignorant, absurdly vile and calumny.

    They are well known for stretching meanings, filtering inputs and outputs, dodgy research designs and practise coupled with pre-determined results directing their efforts.

    I don’t pay attention on twitter. Too many immature children spouting off their worst impulses. I’d rarely go there if it wasn’t for Joe Bastardi and Ryan Maue.

    On other electronic forums, the same alarmist commenters whose first response to linked facts tends towards “You lie!”; are often the same infants who accuse people of being bots. Usually when the infant has been hammered by facts.

    Add in Cook’s and Lewandowsky’s overt phobias against reality, realists and real facts; I’d suspect that Cook’s and Lewandowsky’s bot accusations stem from their own desire for effective bots.

    As Curly points out above, Cook and Lewandowsky are well know for wild fanciful projections.
    Publishing in the Grauniad is proof positive of their bogus nature.

  17. To see what it looks like to have a minority government that at least claims to believe in the end of the world, supported by several small parties that also believe the world is ending, come look at Canada. Utterly ridiculous situation, all entirely as predicted

  18. And can we compare the percentage of bots in the hot headed but fear-driven warmist camp to that deemed to contaminate our cold hearted but courageous denialist camp?

  19. ““I was like, ‘Wow that seems really high,’” he said.” Only because it is. Notice how the AGW crowd is soooo into denial while accusing everyone else of being in denial? It keeps their tiny fantasy world from exploding. I note, too, they counted the “fingerprints of bots”, ie another model.

    A better study would be how many AGW believers are bots in the sense they simply parrot what they are told and are no better than a machine when it comes to knowing the truth. They simply repeat the mantra.

    • …all of them

      try to get anyone of them to explain how it’s our fault…and we have to do something

      …when all of the increase has come from China

      (China would tell them to pound sand…they can’t get money out of China)

  20. **”So one of the things I think is going on, is that it’s actually not about the policy content or public opinion content, it’s much more about perceptions of identity. Manitoba is an interesting province because they clearly can’t be grouped with Alberta and Saskatchewan… but when we’re looking for where the breakdowns and divisions are, it’s much more about identity and the group that you belong to.”

    In the end, Thomas said, these shifts towards one another on policy issues might not mean unity at the ballot box.

    “(People) can be worried about climate change, and support certain kinds of energy policy but what might trump that would be their partisanship.”

    sarah.lawrynuik@freepress.mb.ca

    Sarah Lawrynuik
    Reporter

    Sarah Lawrynuik reports on climate change for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press climate change reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.**

    The above appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press today.
    The reader can judge the intent of the “initiative”.

  21. ““I was like, ‘Wow that seems really high,’” he said.”

    More like:
    “I was like, ‘Wow our teammates seem really high,’”

    Their rooms need to be investigated more than those of the Russian biathlonists.

  22. Imagine that! Leftists admitting that the twitterverse is not a reflection of the real world. The democrats and their press will be devastated!

  23. It’s not just with their climate crusade.
    The progressive mob calls anyone criticizing them a Russian bot.
    It can be any topic.
    They are wrong, dumb and dishonest about everything and despise being told how so.

  24. “always kind of wondering why there’s persistent levels of denial about something that the science is more or less settled on”

    Thomas Marlow, PhD candidate, masters all the usual language tricks of the climate alarmist crowd:
    “kind of wondering” “about something” “science more or less settled on”
    Yes Thomas, it’s worse than you think… LOL

    • Science is more or less settled and the conclusion is more or less worrying. Urgent measures are more or less called for. We should more or less panic.

  25. Whats truly concerning is the growing push to criminalize “Climate Denial” with some extremists even actually recommending Greta Thunberg “Put them agaunst the wall” as the proper punishment!!!

    Cant use death penalty agains murderes, rapists, terrorists etc but Climate Deniers deserve it in their eyes

  26. Again, If Climate Armageddon is coming because of increasing CO2 Levels then CO2 must be decreased. However application of SCIENCE will inform you that the ONLY way to reduce CO2 is to reduce the emission of CO2, That means converting as much energy consuming processes, that is, transportation, manufacturing and electricity from Fossil fuel to Nuclear generated power. Problem is the GND, The Environmentalists and the Climate Change believers are NOT pushing for a program to switch the production of the majority of energy from fossil fuel to nuclear power. Point in fact, the programs in the USA pushed by renewal energy advocates make Nuclear power more expensive and cause the shutdown of nuclear power.Electric cars running from electricity generated by CCTGs Increase the amount of CO2. Wind and Solar generators actually INCREASES the need CCGT and peaking gas generators.

  27. ‘More than half of all internet traffic is now automated, mostly by what are referred to as “bots.” That’s short for “web robot.” These are not manlike machines sitting at keyboards and reading computer monitors. They are software applications. They do automated tasks, following scripts written for them.

    By some estimates, during the 2016 election cycle, one-fifth of online debates were between machines with no human beings involved at all. Bots can be programmed to generate political stories or get into political arguments. Why pay people to do this when you can automate the process with Artificial Intelligence? The next time you get into an online debate with a stranger, that stranger may not even be human.

    Bots follow scripts given by their human masters. Those scripts reflect the beliefs, biases, prejudices, and purposes of those humans. By automating the process, bots turn the work of a single human into something that looks like the work of thousands, maybe millions. They invade social networks. They generate posts and lay out stories meant to persuade people of a certain point of view, or sometimes to paralyze the political opposition with confusion.

    And then there are the real people. In 2016, a group of people in Veles, Macedonia – most of them teenagers – made their city famous as the “Fake News Capital of the World.” They discovered that the American elections were a gold mine. All they had to do was make up stories that people wanted to believe. Every click on one of their stories meant money in their pockets. Whether or not the stories were true, made no difference. If people clicked on the story, it made money. So, they wrote outrageous things – the more outrageous the better, as long as it felt like something that could be true.

  28. I don’t think I am a bot.

    But I’m confident that Cook and Lewandowski are two cheeks of the same unsavoury arse.

  29. We’ve been hearing that this is “Settled Science” for 2 decades and 97% of climate scientists agree.

    Let’s see how that holds up and compare it to real settled science.

    Here’s a good one………the law of physics that allow us to determine mass, weight and gravity: Fg = G (m1 ∙ m2) / r2
    So weight= mass of an object X acceleration of gravity.
    At the Earth’s surface, where g=9.8 m/s2, a persons weight.

    Turns out, that a person at the North/South Pole weighs around 1% more than at the equator because of being closer to the center of gravity for our planet, which has a force of 9.863 m/s2 (times your mass at the poles to get weight) vs just 9.764 m/s2 (times your mass to get weight) at the equator. There is a slight negative affect in the opposite direction of the force of gravity at the equator because of the KNOWN centrifugal force from the rotating planet which is dialed in to that number.

    We can use that and make a prediction that a person who weighs 99 lbs at the equator will weigh around 100 lbs at the poles. If you do an experiment that predicts that stuff at the poles will weigh around 1% more based on this principle of physics, then weigh 1,000 things at the poles, then weigh them at the equator, 1,000 of those 1,000 measurements will solidly confirm this settled science with EMPIRICAL DATA.

    This is probably an excessively high standard to hold climate science to with regards to being settled science but settled science means that its irrefutable and has been proven, not modeled with speculative theories but proven with EMPIRICAL DATA.

    Very few legit people of science would argue with the known physics of CO2 and its ability to warm the earth. This is not disputed. It’s the amount of warming and affects on the planet/life that are disputed……..by the skeptic side. While the other side brings out the “settled science” response to support its position about all the really bad things that will happen but without the authentic EMPIRICAL DATA.

    Note that we were able to correctly predict the weights of stuff using the settled science in the earlier example………..confirming. Those insisting on the climate crisis have made dozens of predictions for over 30 years, which we can use to see if this really is settled science(verified with empirical data).
    I’ll just use one example here that goes back decades but represents the same deleterious things that we have been told constantly would affect polar bears, humans, crops and many other things.

    U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked
    June 29, 1989
    https://apnews.com/bd45c372caf118ec99964ea547880cd0

    Ironically, not only did none of those predictions verify, in many cases, like with crop yields, the complete opposite happened. And not despite of climate change but because of climate change and the benefits that were measure by EMPIRICAL DATA, that defied the models and predictions. They were the result of global warming, the best weather/climate for life in the last 1,000 years and increase in CO2………..all of which have EMPIRICAL DATA to prove it.

    Supposedly, today’s settled science has also identified CO2 as a pollutant. Often referred to as “carbon” pollution(though carbon is a solid and CO2 is a gas).

    Hmmm. Let’s see how that stacks up compared to a known law of settled science that uses the authentic role of CO2 for life on this planet. Photosynthesis.

    We all learned this one in grade school science/biology. Plants take:
    Sun(light) + H2O + Minerals + CO2 and convert to O2 + Food(sugars)

    Can it be that Sun + H2O + Minerals +CO2 POLLUTION = O2 + Food +CLIMATE APOCALYPSE? This is the “settled science” we are being sold.

    Again, the observations/EMPIRICAL DATA show the complete opposite.

    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2016/carbon-dioxide-fertilization-greening-earth
    https://www.marketforum.com/forum/topic/47705/

    How can this be a climate crisis for life, when the planet is greening up so fast based on EMPIRICAL DATA and most life is flourishing?

    60 years ago, the position of SETTLED SCIENCE was that warmer global temperature were beneficial to life and 2+ degrees warmer was referred to by 97% of scientists as a climate OPTIMUM.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_climatic_optimum

    What changed in 60 years? Settled science can’t change by definition. Scientists who knew that global warming was beneficial to our planet 60 years ago based on EMPIRICAL DATA of the past (Medieval/Roman/Minoan Warm Periods) did not make some profound paleoclimatology discoveries since then that caused them to see the past differently.

    What changed is that climate science was hijacked on a massive scale and used to promote a political agenda that has ZERO to do with climate.

    People that don’t believe that cannot explain the EMPIRICAL DATA which is evidence. This planet and life on it has entered the start of a new climate optimum. The observations prove it.

    When we don’t do exactly what they say must be done and the deadline passes in 2030, authentic settled science, with near certainty will feature a greener planet and most life doing better. Same thing in 2100.

    Higher CO2, warmer temperatures………..greener planet. Authentic settled science.

    Will there be some negative consequences as we get warmer and warmer? Sure but they won’t exceed the positives FOR LIFE until we get to around +4 deg. C.
    Humans will have some increasing issues prior to that, maybe +2 deg. C is the break even point in 2100 but if our main concern is for the planet………all the EMPIRICAL DATA is telling us that it wants much more CO2 and warmer temperatures.

  30. The mentality that produced this study is the same as that refusing to accept millions of Americans support Trump and if it wasn’t for Russian interference and Russian bots the thousands who show up at Trump’s campaign rallies would not be there and the tens of millions who voted for him would not have voted for him.

    The same side is pushing the narrative that Trump is a Russian Operative. All of it is hilarious……until you realize they are serious and millions believe the BS, just like they will believe this absurdity. But they do need some kind of salve on their cognitive dissonance.

  31. Damn. Busted. I am a bot. Not only am I a climate denier bot, I am a whisky drinking, cigar smoking bot. My programming is simple, but effective. Should you have undrunk whisky and/or unsmoked cigars, I can be rented for a nominal fee.

  32. It’s a classic strategy, you see authoritarian governments resort to it all the time and highlighted in 1984 by George Orwell.

    Your disagreement is not valid or real because it’s a paid for conspiracy and that diminishes you and your view. It’s just another Nick Stokes you define all disagreement as a paid for bot and therefore there is no opposition and everyone agrees except the one person writing the bots.

    Orwell made a famous quote against this sort of subversive attack

    “Being in a minority, even in a minority of one, did not make you mad. There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad.”

  33. I had a Bladerunner flashback: how soon before we have special police searching out and destroying those rogue “bots”? All in the public interest, of course.

    • Why don’t they look on the bright side.
      According to the “settled science” in less than 12 years they’ll be nobody left for the bots to twitter with.
      The AOC blot said so.

    • WXcycles
      Get with it! How can the Russians influence you if you don’t use Twitter? You’re not doing your civic duty to be controlled if you avoid the ‘bot factory.

  34. It’s amazing just what those guys will do for attention. I’ll bet there aren’t many humans that will punlicly admit to failing the Turing test.

  35. I wonder if the turkeys at SS have thought to do a similar investigation on climate alarmist tweets. They would likely find that 75% are from bots.

  36. Those that don’t think or profit off non-thinking, the bots, are now calling we that think, “bots.”

    “Crimestop” and “thoughtcrime” to follow shortly.

  37. From the article: ““More often than not, they turn out to have all the fingerprints of bots,” he said. “The more denialist trolls are out there, the more likely people will think that there is a diversity of opinion and hence will weaken their support for climate science.”

    Lewandowsky is afraid that his CAGW propaganda is not going to be as effective if there are a lot of “denialists” out there weakening the support for Lewandowsky and Cook’s propaganda.

  38. I don’t believe this claim about skeptic bots. I think we should make Lewandowsky and Cook prove these outrageous claims.

    If 25 percent of climate change posts are bots, then why are there never any bots over here on WUWT?

    Or are the bots just a problem on Twitter? I don’t do Twitter so maybe that’s why I never run across a bot.

    We want to see the evidence for these skeptic bots. And we also want to see the evidence that Russian bots are interfering in the U.S. elections. Both these claims are on shaky ground.

    The New York Times breaks a story claiming that an intelligence briefing for the House of Representatives said that the Russians were again interfering in the U.S. elections and were doing so in favor of Trump.

    Well, naturally, Adam Schiff, the House Intelliegence chairman leaked this little tidbit of info to the New York Times and they printed it in an effort to continue to smear Trump.

    But it turns out that over a month ago the Bernie Sanders campaign was notified that the Russians were interfering in the U.S. elections and were doing so to favor Bernie! Funny, but this bit of information was never printed in the Leftwing media until the day after the NYT printed that hit piece on Trump.

    So, just like in 2016, the Russians are interfering in our elections by showing support for more than one candidate. In 2016, the Russians organized a couple of demonstrations. One was in favor of Trump and one was in favor of Hillary, as an example.

    Now, with the 2020 election coming up the Russians are again supporting more than one candidate, Trump and Sanders.

    What the Russians are really trying to do is sow discord in the American political system, and they don’t really need bots or other activities to forward this goal of theirs, all they have to do is sit back and let the Radical Democrats sow as much discord as they can, using Russian interference as their excuse.

    The Mueller report showed very little Russian activity in the 2016 elections. Certainly not enough to sway the election one way or the other. The only real success they had was getting the Democrats to go along with their narrative. The official word on Russian interference was they did not affect the election. The Democrats definitely disrupted the elections. The Russians not so much.

    I want to see evidence for all these claims of bots and influence. Just saying it is so doesn’t make it so. Until then, I don’t believe these claims.

    • It turns out the intelligence briefing that supposedly claimed the Russians were trying to help Trump in the election was an Adam Schiff lie. Others who also attended that briefing said there was absolutely no mention of a connection to Trump.

      So I guess the Democrats thought that the notification that Bernie got from the FBI about the Russians trying to help him in the elction was about to go public, so they jumped out ahead of it and put out the false claim that the Russians were trying to help Trump.

      You have to hand it to the Left and the Deep State, they are pretty good at ginning up conspiracies. Of course, they have the Leftwing Media to trumpet all their lies. Without the Leftwing Media, sounding like the voice of authority, on their side, they would have nothing.

      Should Trump launch an intelligence investigation into Bernie and the Russians and their possible collusion in the upcoming election? Think what the Democrats would say about that. They would be more than outraged. Yet that’s exactly what the Democrats did to Trump and are doing to Trump. Unsuccessfully, I might add.

  39. ‘Thomas Marlow, a PhD candidate at Brown who led the study, said the research came about as he and his colleagues are “always kind of wondering why there’s persistent levels of denial about something that the science is more or less settled on”.’

    Wonder no more as who could possibly be a doubting Thomas in the presence of such a visionary?
    “She saw what the rest of us did not want to see. It was as if she could see our CO2 emissions with her naked eye.”
    https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/greta-thunbergs-mother-reveals-teenagers-incredible-transformation/ar-BB10hjmf
    Eschew impure thoughts Thomas and Gang as who could ever doubt that Pol Pot Unitopia shall prevail over the Poll Bots? Are you all shovel ready for the Great Leap Forward!

  40. Marlow said he was surprised that bots were responsible for a quarter of climate tweets on an average day.

    and then Lewandowsky says

    More often than not, they turn out to have all the fingerprints of bots

    Lewandowsky maths.

  41. Has anyone been able to find an actual example of a climate consensus twitter account or post written by a bot?

    If so, please answer with the url.

    • Sorry I meant example of climate consensus skeptic twitter account or post – but I’ll happily take all bot accounts posting predominantly about the climate system.

  42. John Cook, an Australian cognitive scientist and co-author with Lewandowsky, said that bots are “dangerous and potentially influential”,

    The warmists have been creating and taking college classes on climate communications as well as having many semimars on this topic in order to sway skeptics (and to keep the science and resulting media reports from inadvertently giving us ammo).

    Why don’t they just Create their own bots that Push their messages on us easily influenced skeptics and then problem solved, they’ll have their majority of believers needed to save the world!

    (Cook is a scientist? Thought i read he was a cartoonist?)

    • Cook is a Climate Scientist just like Steve Mosher, you don’t actually need any qualifications you just claim the title. You get extra bonus points and become a climate scientist and expert if you write some lame piece of pseudoscience junk and get it published which both have done.

    • “John Cook, an Australian cognitive scientist and co-author with Lewandowsky, said that bots are “dangerous and potentially influential”,

      How influential can a bot be if noone can find it? I keep hearing about all these bots and how influential they are/could be, yet I have never seen even one in all these years. So I would say from personal experience that a climate change bot has never influenced me, since as far as I can tell, they don’t exist.

  43. Fully qualified lunatics. All they have to do is to give the URL of the bot and then work out who is paying for the service hosting the ‘bot’. This sounds like complete nonsense, who would develop or pay for such ludicrously ineffective thing?
    Of course, the naivety of the research is sweet, like, how come people are thinking for themselves when we have been pushing the alarmist agitprop so hard?

  44. I already knew that I am a bot.

    Putin’s bots tell me that I am a bot every time I am trying to say anything resembling an observation of reality.

    Same with climate change bots — they are programmed to call real people bots.

    So, anybody but a paid liar is a bot. Got it.

  45. I AM NOT A BOT

    I am the owner of the Twitter account @petefrt cited as a suspected bot with 52K followers in a Guardian article (linked below) about the unpublished study of a Brown University student.

    It’s my only Twitter account and I’ve had it for over 10 years, since 2008. My account was suspended Feb 21 after the study appeared in the Guardian and elsewhere. I’m in the process of appealing, as I am not a bot.

    It seems a bot is anyone who questions climate change dogma.

    “Revealed: quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots” https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/21/climate-tweets-twitter-bots-analysis

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