The Trump 2020 bot campaign has begun

'Manufactuing' typo exposes one man's apparent engagement play.

Jun 20, 2019, 1:24 pm*

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David Covucci 

David Covucci

trump bots

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)

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?

https://twitter.com/grenaways/status/1141183942361591808

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

https://twitter.com/Shadoself/status/1141512119575371776

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.

https://twitter.com/johncatsjr/status/1141142973201227787

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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*First Published: Jun 20, 2019, 1:10 pm