Crisis situations are characterised by their sudden occurrence and an unclear information situation. In that context, social media platforms have become a highly utilised resource for collective information gathering to fill these gaps. However, there are indications that not only humans, but also social bots are active on these platforms during crisis situations. Although identifying the impact of social bots during extreme events seems to be a highly relevant topic, research remains sparse. To fill this research gap, we started a bigger project in analysing the influence of social bots during crisis situations. As a part of this project, we initially conducted a case study on the Manchester Bombing 2017 and analysed the social bot activity. Our results indicate that mainly benign bots are active during crisis situations. While the quantity of the bot accounts is rather low, their tweet activity indicates a high influence.
Brachten, Florian; Mirbabaie, Milad; Stieglitz, Stefan; Berger, Olivia; Bludau, Sarah; and Schrickel, Kristina, "Threat or Opportunity? - Examining Social Bots in Social Media Crisis Communication" (2018). ACIS 2018 Proceedings. 74.