, 27 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
[Thread] As I mentioned earlier, what follows is an analysis of the 'Trudeau Must Go' hashtag. It seems people's instinctive suspicions that the hashtag is manipulated by an organized disinformation campaign are valid. The findings are alarmingly familiar... #cndpoli
As you probably guessed, the hashtag is one of many anti-Trudeau hashtags that seems to be picking up before the Canadian federal election in October 2019. This is an analysis of tweets and accounts undertaken to determine who is actually behind the surge... #cndpoli
This is an analysis of around 34,000 tweets, retweets, replies etc from around 4,896 unique Twitter accounts (with biographical data). Just for some context, the hashtag has been around for a while. However, it really picked up on 4th September, as you can see from this graph
First up. Who is tweeting on the hashtag? Well, a frequency count of the most common words in the account biographies reveals that the top most common words are 1) Conservative 2) Canadian and 3) MAGA... While the first two might be unsurprising, MAGA appears 464 times! #cndpoli
Of around the 4,896 unique accounts active on the hashtag, around 718 accounts (14%) contained right wing and Trump-related phrases, including #Kag #WWG1GWA #MAGA #Qanon etc. Need I remind you, that's a hell of a lot considering this hashtag is about the Canadian Prime Minister
What's more, those 718 #MAGA accounts are generally more vocal than the other accounts. If you add up the historic statuses (i.e. how many tweets these accounts send out), the results are staggering. These 718 accounts account for only 14% of the sample, but they contribute to
almost one third of the total number of historic tweets (reminder: this is not tweets in the sample, but rather the past history of those accounts). This figure is important because it shows that those MAGA accounts are a little spammy, e.g. constantly Tweeting. This is
often an indicator of inorganic activity. That is to say, automated accounts, or trolls working to promote a specific message. There's also something else very interesting #cndpoli
If you see when these 718 MAGA accounts were created, we see the same anomalies we witnessed in my thread on Boris Johnson. Indeed, there is a spike in user-creation dates on January 2017 and January 2018. Remember, I suggested that the spike in January 2017 indicated that
some entity had set up a group of Twitter accounts in this month in order to Tweet pro-Trump propaganda. (For those who didn't read the other thread, this spike isn't explained by Trump's inauguration, as we'd expect to see a big spike when he was elected in December).
Remember, in an analysis of around 75000 Twitter accounts containing the terms #MAGA #Qanon #DraintheSwamp (and a few others) - we saw this same bizarre anomaly in January 2017 and January 2018. (I initially suggested the subsequent spike in January might have been a contract
renewal for a troll farm - although that is speculative). Anyway, what is clear, is that in the analysis of Boris Johnson's hard Brexit tweets, and now the analysis of 'Trudeau Must Go', we are seeing a large community of pro-Trump and alt right accounts tweeting voluminously
in favour of hard-right policies. And of course there's more.... #cndpoli
As with the #Brexit and Boris Johnson related tweets, we see huge support for Israel (mentioned 43 times), and a lot of Islamophobia. Indeed, Islam is mentioned in the context of Islamophobic statements around 19 times. #cndpoli
Climate change denial also appears around 55 times! (Just a reminder we are talking about Twitter biographies right now, not actual tweets). This means people are choosing to define their online profile according to these choice terms.... #cndpoli
We can also see from the network analysis (the nodes/circles are accounts - the lines between them interactions) show an interesting community of larger nodes on the bottom right, being fed by another little community. If you examine the accounts you'll see that the outlying
community is mostly MAGA trolls doing large scale messages that mention a lot of other accounts. (See an example screenshot). By '@'ing' dozens of accounts these MAGA trolls are creating denser networks between accounts to probably increase the likelihood of a trend
If we zoom in to that account nestled between the two groups - mrc69 - is a link between a lot of these MAGA accounts and a larger network of anti-Trudeau accounts that are incredibly vocal. Again, you look at the screenshots of mrc69 - the aesthetics are all too familiar
And if you look at this particularly vocal community (size correlates to how much they are interacting), I'd wager a bunch of them are likely to be fake accounts.... #cndpoli
By all means have a snoop around, I know I am!
So, to sum up. A large percentage (14-15%) of all accounts tweeting on the "Trudeau Must Go" hashtag are angry MAGA bots and/or trolls. The actual number is probably much higher (I am being conservative ((pun intended) in estimates). What's more, this is likely a related network
to those extreme MAGA & altright accounts advocating for a hard brexit in the UK and for a coup d'etat in Iran (more on that tomorrow). If I were Canadian, or British,or literally anyone in a democracy, I'd be afraid, because this probably the tip of the disinfo iceberg #cndpoli
Please feel free to retweet the original thread in order to raise awareness of this issue, which is likely going to get much worse over the coming day. #cndpoli #munkdebates
As an addition, it is of course hard to know who is behind them. Apart from MAGA, these communities of trolls mention Israel the most out of any other country. Is this a coincidence, a red herring, a correlation? It's hard to tell, but it seems deliberate.
For those wondering btw, the "Trudeau Corruption" hashtag is run by mostly the same accounts as the "Trudeau Must Go" hashtag. That might seem obvious, but it is worth mentioning. Much of the same applies, although the object of such trends is to suck in organic activity too
of course I meant to use the hashtag 🙈 #cdnpoli
Also why do #MAGA accounts outnumber #MCGA accounts?
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