A new report from social media researchers at the University of Southern California has found that social media is increasingly becoming a platform for online disinformation and manipulation.
The study, which was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that fake accounts, bots and trolls are increasingly used to spread false news and propaganda.
“The volume of social media content being produced and shared on the Internet has become increasingly influential in the dissemination of disinformation,” said Michael D. Cote, the lead author of the study and a professor of information sciences at USC.
“A lot of this content comes from bots and troll accounts that are operated to spread disinformation.
It’s a very effective way to reach a large audience, especially online, with false information.”
The researchers found that there were 3.3 billion social media accounts, or accounts that post more than 1,000 posts a day, as of the end of 2017.
That figure is expected to rise to 4.3 trillion by 2021, according to the researchers.
The number of bots and fake accounts has doubled over the past five years.
The authors noted that this is a new phenomenon, but the trend is being driven by increasing social media use and the spread of bots.
Social media accounts can also be used to propagate hoaxes, such as the one that claimed President Donald Trump’s inauguration was a hoax in February.
The fake account was created in February 2017 and the account is now being used more frequently, said Cote.
The fake account also posted fake news about the inauguration, such a story claiming that the first lady, Melania Trump, was born a man, and that the President had been forced to leave office due to a stroke.
The story spread quickly and is now up to 4 million likes and 1 million shares on Facebook, the researchers found.
The researchers also found that more than 100,000 people who use the bot accounts on Facebook share the same fake account.
“They are sharing it as an extension of their own personalities, as if they are themselves the person behind it,” said Cotes.
“It’s not a reflection of the people who are actually behind it, but it’s the way they are trying to express themselves.”
The bots have a lot of followers on Facebook because they often appear in news feeds, the study said.
Facebook allows users to block bots and limit their engagement.
The bot accounts are typically created by someone with a high number of likes, the authors wrote.
In addition, they found that about 1.8 million people share posts from the accounts on Instagram, Twitter and other social media platforms.
Some of the bots were also promoted in fake news stories.
In their paper, the USC researchers analyzed more than 2.4 million posts that were posted on the social media site between December 2016 and June 2017.
They found that, as a percentage of posts, the number of users who posted to these accounts was significantly higher than the number who shared posts from traditional social media.
That indicates that many users are participating in social media disinformation campaigns, Cote said.
In other words, fake accounts are more popular than fake posts.
They are spreading fake news, often through fake news sources.
In one case, a person with a fake account posted about the 2016 presidential election.
In another, a man claiming to be a CNN commentator posted about a fake Trump supporter who was killed in a shootout in Mexico.
The posts were shared more than 4,000 times and were shared to over 1 million times on Facebook.
The number of posts that are being shared through social media by bots has doubled from 3.1 billion in 2017 to 4 billion by 2021.