, 15 tweets, 6 min read
[#Thread] 1/ This thread is on Tulsi Gabbard and the inordinate amount of support she appears to have online from #MAGA and pro-Trump accounts. Accounts that some believe to be part of an influence operation - Russian or otherwise. The findings are quite startling... #polbots
2/ I analysed several batches of tweets. Most of these are from between 15th and 20th of October. I analysed the hashtags #Tulsi2020 and #TulsiGabbard. I also analysed #QueenOfWarmongers, which refers to Tulsi's tweet where she called Hilary Clinton the 'queen of warmongers'
3/ Here is a link to that tweet, which was retweeted 79k times. I removed duplicates from my main sample of accounts tweeting on "Tulsi 2020" and "Tulsi Gabbard". This left around 10,000 unique accounts producing in the region of around 20,000 tweets.
4/ I analysed the biographies again, in order to determine any similarities among the accounts. I discovered the most common word was Trump, mentioned in around 525 of those 10,000 accounts. MAGA came in number 3 (excluding http) with 433 hits. Indeed, Tulsi only came in 5th.
5/ While most of those accounts with #MAGA in the bio seem to support Trump, those with Trump in seem to be a group of accounts that either love or hate Trump. You can see below. I'd broadly sum this up as a polarised community with a right-wing bias. The nature of the language
6/ is similar though, with extreme love or disgust expressed with regards to Trump. Also what is interesting is that we see an account creation date spike at January 2017. I have documented this time before - as one where an unusual amount of pro-Trump and Resist accounts were
7/ created. The same pattern holds out true with the "Queen of Warmongers" hashtag. Indeed, the approx 9,300 unique accounts in the sample, MAGA and Trump were the top 2 words featured in bios. Conservative was 4, and KAG (keep America Great) was number 5. Might be worth
8/ reminding everyone that Tulsi Gabbard is a democratic candidate... Indeed, in my sample, 22% of all those tweeting on the 'Queen of Warmongers" hashtag had either Trump, MAGA, KAG or conservative in their bios. That's around 20% (a number that is becoming very familiar).
9/ As for Tulsi's tweet about Hilary Clinton, the one that inspired the Queen of Warmongers hashtag - the same story plays out. Of around 10,366 unique accounts I sampled that retweeted her, the most commonly occurring words are once again MAGA, Trump and erm, love of course.
10/ Again, we see the same suspicious January 2017 spike in creation dates. Again, in this sample, we see similar figures - around 16% of accounts retweeting have either MAGA, KAG, Trump or Conservative written in their bios. Indeed, the trump-mentioning accounts are consistently
11/ the most vocal on both Tulsi hashtags and Tulsi's comments condemning Hilary. Accusations that Tulsi is supported by a social media influence campaign are not new, but the fingerprint of those boosting Tulsi's tweets are extremely similar to those boosting anti Trudeau
12/ and pro Hard-Brexit tweets. Indeed, I cross-examined a sample of those tweeting against Trudeau with the pro-Tulsi accounts and my early estimates suggest at least 300 of the accounts may be active on both issues - again, strange bedfellows in many ways.
13/ So in short, recently we have seen that those boosting pro-Tulsi hashtags often involve a large community of MAGA and Trump-related accounts. At times, these account for 16-20% of all unique accounts tweeting, often the most cohesive community. The patterns of behaviours
14/ certainly fit the argument that Tulsi is being promoted by those wishing to disrupt the democratic nomination for president - whether to divide the democrats or promote a challenger who is seen as perhaps naive, or even sympathetic to the US's traditional enemies....
15/ End thread. Feel free to ask questions, retweet or request data
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