The wildfires presently burning in the Western USA have given rise to various conspiracy theories claiming that the conflagrations are an organized campaign of arson conducted by antifa, with a side of climate change denialism.

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We downloaded recent tweets containing "arson", "arsonist", or "arsonists", yielding 267136 tweets from 169105 accounts. The traffic largely doesn't look automated, but the accounts involved are disproportionately 2020 creations.
Retweet network for recent tweets containing arson/arsonist/arsonists. The largest cluster consists of right-wing accounts, most of which are putting forth the proposition that the wildfires are an act of political violence by antifa.
The media website mostly commonly linked from recent tweets mentioning arson/arsonist(s) is Gateway Pundit, followed by a variety of other right-wing conspiracy sites as well as mainstream local and national news sources.
Gateway Pundit published an article on Sept 10 that (without evidence) described an arson suspect as an "antifa radical". They later edited the article/headline, but the disinfo lives on as 1430 of 1439 tweets containing the headline (99.3%) have the original erroneous version.
One more interesting factor at work in the spread of claims that antifa arsonists are starting wildfires in the Western USA: retweet rooms. We found 292 #MAGA accounts whose tweets/retweets consistently get more retweets than likes among the recent arson/arsonist tweets.
(Background on #Mighty200 retweet rooms and how we determined that frequent tweets with more retweets than likes are a sign of the use of retweet rooms or similar forms of astroturfing)
Here are a few examples of recent arson-related tweets that were likely amplified via #MAGA retweet rooms (note that each got substantially more retweets than likes.)

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More from @conspirator0

19 Sep
The link in this "Looking to boost your #Followers?" tweet is dead, but the fake follower botnet the account that tweeted it belongs to is still around.

cc: @ZellaQuixote Image
We downloaded the followers of several of the accounts followed by @jonathanling209, and repeated the process on accounts followed by their followers. Many of these accounts were followed by hundreds or thousands of accounts created in bulk in 2018/2019 (the circled regions). Image
We found a total of 6882 accounts created in batches between March 2018 and February 2019, with the majority created in January 2019. Many of these accounts have never tweeted. Those which have did so exclusively via "Twitter Web Client". ImageImageImageImage
Read 6 tweets
17 Sep
Check out all the love and blessings from Miami, Florida, also known as Ohio and Texas. #YouHadOneJob #Spamtastic

cc: @ZellaQuixote Image
The duplicate "blessings from Miami, Florida" tweets came from a network of ten accounts created on Sept 4 2020. These accounts tweet on nearly identical schedules, and almost all of their tweets (96.3%) are replies. Tweets are (allegedly) sent via various Twitter web products. ImageImageImageImage
These ten accounts have sent a multitude of repeated tweets in their two weeks on Twitter. The repeated tweets are a mix of generic pleasantries, praise for various cryptocurrency accounts, and attacks on a Massachusetts social worker. Image
Read 5 tweets
17 Sep
Oh hey, it's a ten-week old website called twitterfollowersbuy(dot)com selling fake Twitter followers. #WednesdayWisdom #SeemsLegit

cc: @ZellaQuixote
We contacted the "24/7 email address" on twitterfollowersbuy(dot)com's "About Us" page, and quickly received a response providing @alkalineph20 as an example of an account followed by the followers offered by the site. Almost all of its followers were created July 2020 or later.
To find more accounts that are likely part of this fake follower network, we downloaded followers of other accounts followed by @alkalineph20's followers, and checked for periods where most of the accounts' followers were created July 2020 or later (orange circled areas).
Read 7 tweets
15 Sep
Oh look, a bunch of duplicate tweets. What's up with that? #Spamtastic

cc: @ZellaQuixote Image
These particular duplicate tweets (and others) were posted by @SunnQuest123, @GodMgga, @barbwire975, and @Sunnquest123W, a quartet of accounts who in a total coincidence all follow each other (and each account's first followers are the previously created members of the network). ImageImageImage
The accounts in this network frequently duplicate both tweets and memes within and across accounts, with the text color/formatting on the memes occasionally changing. Three of four accounts are presently using variants on the same meme about voting as their pinned tweet. ImageImageImage
Read 5 tweets
14 Sep
In one of the more hilariously meta developments in recent Twitter botting history, retweet-to-win tweets from @SeigRobotics offering free access to some sort of Twitter botting tool are being retweeted by a bunch of bots. #MondayMotivation

cc: @ZellaQuixote ImageImage
We found 321 accounts that used one or more custom automation apps to retweet one or more of @SeigRobotics's recent tweets. We then looked at the retweets of other tweets those accounts had retweeted to find members of the same networks that haven't (yet) retweeted @SeigRobotics.
We found 49 groups of automated accounts (536 accounts total), each using a separate set of custom automation apps. (It's quite possible that there are fewer than 49 distinct botnets, as several of the smaller groups were created on the same day.) Image
Read 7 tweets
11 Sep
What's with all these accounts linking the same boat parade YouTube video at the exact same time? #Spamtastic #FridayFeeling?

cc: @ZellaQuixote Image
Answer: a botnet, consisting of 12 accounts with nearly identical tweet schedules linking YouTube videos via Plume for Android. This botnet has shared 640 different YouTube videos since June 1st 2020, all but one of which was tweeted by all 12 accounts. ImageImageImage
Did we mention that these 12 accounts are tweeting on nearly identical schedules? On average, all 12 accounts tweet each YouTube video over a span of 5 seconds (tables show the most recent examples as of the time we pulled data). ImageImageImageImage
Read 6 tweets

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