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, 10 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Investigation by @LarsWienand and @markusreuter_ into suspicious Twitter activities surrounding the so called AfD.

I supported them by analysing retweets and accounts. #FakeprofileFürDieAfd
At the beginning, suspicious accounts (eg. inexplicable name changes) were identified by hand as described in the articles.

To better understand their connections, I created the follow-network you see below. 2 primary clusters. Follow4follow at bottom, German right-wing at top. network visualization
In the follow4follow cluster we found several examples of highly automated accounts. Many of them aren't active anymore. Probably because Twitter blocked the apps they used.

I used to look at them. This account used TweetAdder for automation. screenshot showing 24 hour high tweetvolume
I collected a 10-day sample of Tweets that interacted (retweet, mention) with one of the accounts that were likely beneficiaries or two similar but probably not involved accounts.

This time a retweet-network (edge = retweet). Most suspicious accounts (red) appeared in 1 cluster. network visualization
In the cluster we identified additional suspicious accounts. They retweeted each other and the main beneficiary @​UdoHemmelgarn. #FakeprofileFürDieAfd
The suspicious accounts (most likely sock puppets) showed the same pattern of activity: The accounts are mostly dormant. Every few weeks or sometimes months, they become active for one or two hours and publish a high amount of mostly retweets. #FakeprofileFürDieAfd
A single account with such a pattern wouldn't be suspicious. Some people use Twitter only for TV shows or other events.

But multiple accounts with the same pattern retweeting the same accounts and each other are very suspicious. #FakeprofileFürDieAfd
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