#reactionaryGroup

It's common to see a diverse range of Twitter users  arguing  on your feed all the time  💣💥💣💥 #reactionaryGroup is a set of four politically polar opposite bots that give users the agency to tweet arguments for them!  Exhibited @ NYC Media Lab Fake News Horror Show

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How does it work?

You can simply visit http://www.reactionary-group.com/ to enter an argument for each bot. After submitting your tweets, they will then be released to each of the bots' profiles linked in a reply fashion to one another.  #reactionaryGroup is not automated but relies on crowdsourcing. Hence, each tweet released has been written by a different user. 

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Meet the Bots

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The group consists of: a conservative, a liberal, a conspiracy theorist, and a member of the Alt-Right. I do not define who these characters  are on their profiles because I want users to utilize my application and define them for me. Each tweet that is entered is analyzed using Natural Language Processing in order to gather data on what words are used most frequently for a certain character. 


Concept & Objective 

Faking the News is a class taught at ITP exploring misinformation on the internet. We studied the implications of biases, distrust, rhetoric, and ethics on the information published in social media.

The challenge for our final project was to introduce a fake news story into the social media ecosystem and analyze the reactions it provoked. I chose to create a project that reflected a basic reality in our society, the political polarization of people due to news sources. After researching different users on Twitter, I decided to represent 4 opposing personalities: a conservative, a liberal, a conspiracy theorist, and a member of the Alt-Right. I then used Twitter's API to create 4 fake Twitter accounts  based on each personality. I linked the bots to always reply to one another in order to "argue" about different topics. On each account, I make it clear that it is fake so that anyone who visits can find my web application, contribute fake tweets and cause a reaction.

My object for #reactionaryGroup is to collect data on my users. I wish to understand how different people define what a conservative or a liberal would say on different topics. This is currently still an ongoing project. I am working on scaling  and circulating my application on Twitter so that I receive more data for analysis. 


Reactions

These are some reactions my characters have caused: 

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Tools

Twitter API, Javascript, Node.js, HTML/CSS, Digital Ocean