Presidential elections in Ecuador: Bot presence in twitter

Daniel Rofrio, Anacaren Ruiz, Erin Sosebee, Qasim Raza, Adnan Bashir, Jed Crandall, Ramiro Sandoval

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The world's digital transformation has influenced not only the way we do business, but also the way we perform daily activities. Social media has a clear influence on people, especially during events such as elections where recent international events have shown that social media played an important role. In fact, there are three main aspects in this digital landscape: political movements and political candidates looking for popular support (number of followers), citizens' messages discussing social issues (trending topics on social media), and political propaganda appearing in the net in favor of or against politicians or political movements (advertisement). One of the issues with social media is the presence of automatic accounts (bots) that artificially fill accounts with fake followers, create false trending topics, and share fake news or simply flood the net with propaganda. All this artificially generated information may influence people and sometimes may even censor people's real opinions undermining their freedom of speech and affecting true democracy. In this paper, we present a set of observations based on two main objectives: collect evidence of digital campaigning during the Presidential Elections in Ecuador 2017 and describe the mechanisms used for this campaign. Finally, we show how candidates prepared online campaigns in Twitter and how normal patterns of new followers' subscriptions were altered. And, we collected information about more than 30,000 bots filtered only by political content used for propaganda purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 6th International Conference on eDemocracy and eGovernment, ICEDEG 2019
EditorsLuis Teran, Luis Teran, Andreas Meier, Jhonny Pincay
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728117041
StatePublished - Apr 2019
Event6th International Conference on eDemocracy and eGovernment, ICEDEG 2019 - Quito, Ecuador
Duration: 24 Apr 201926 Apr 2019

Publication series

Name2019 6th International Conference on eDemocracy and eGovernment, ICEDEG 2019


Conference6th International Conference on eDemocracy and eGovernment, ICEDEG 2019


  • Bot Detection
  • Elections
  • Social Media
  • Twitter


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