The Trump 2020 bot campaign has begun

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump officially kicked off his 2020 reelection campaign with a rally in Orlando, Florida.

The 2020 effort is well underway online, as Twitter is getting flooded with what appear to be automatic tweets touting Trump’s accomplishments.

If you’ve been online in the past few days, you’ve probably seen this.

Why is @OstlandGary voting for Trump in 2020? Well, he says: “4 million+ new jobs – 400 miles of Wall Built – 450,000 new manufactuing [sic] jobs.”

Is anyone else online excited about “manufactuing jobs” and an inaccurate claim about miles of wall built?

Some declared Russia is behind a bot push, already waging a new information warfare campaign against the U.S.

And while a bot check reveals that the accounts pushing these tweets are most likely automated, the explanation is likely far less sinister than that.

The original tweet comes from John Catsimatidis Jr.

He is not a bot, but he has some interesting account features. An analysis of his account reveals unusually high levels of likes and retweets for his posts.

johncatsjr followers trump bot tweets SparkToro

Given the amount of engagement he’s getting, it’s plausible that he is paying for likes and follows for his posts.

So while Russia may not be behind this, it goes to show how one person probably buying some account interaction can have a disproportionate effect on the national conversation.

Twitter told the Daily Dot that it is looking into the matter.

This story has been updated.


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David Covucci

David Covucci

David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]