Haven’t you noticed orchestrated crowd of similar, or even worse, completely “copy/paste” comments, opinions and notes after the articles of significant importance and great deal of public interest coming from fake users, so-called “bots”? The “Bot” Phenomenon perfectly describes how analog politicians/individuals use digital world nowadays in Serbia. One would say this has more to do with journalism and simple comment moderation but.
One of the event which is mainly about to cover digital marketing issues in the moment, is Nova energija conference. The event itself is going to take place at Kopaonik resort from 29th of April up until 3rd of May. Some of the workshops, panels and discussions are going to cover topics like: e business in Serbia, PayPal, digital and internet marketing, internet media etc. One of the topics of our interest (beside internet and digital marketing in this case) are internet media and how adversely they are influenced by appearance of “bots”. “Bot” phenomenon is fairly new and it came as a result of digital media and digital advertising expansion.
However it reached a critical stage in Serbia since one could easily recognize comments “provided” by army of “bots” deployed mainly by political alternatives in not a sophisticated manner though. The situation is that serious that one can not even catch non-fake comments, literally public opinion is distorted and forced into shade. We are just waiting when companies going to employ aforementioned tactics in order to sabotage competition. Sad reality just around the corner.
Luckily this burning issue is not going to be handled only on this event. Serbian branch of Open Society Foundation in cooperation with Blogopen even made a short infographic-based guidelines how to tackle “bots” attacks on Twitter. Official slogan is: “Bots, and how to handle them” Sadly, it went that far away. Something like this no one of us could even imagine in past several years.
Furthermore, New Media Centre Liber (friendly community of bloggers, social media experts etc) openly reported in their article multiple spins, attacks and insults coming from the Twitter users hidden behind fake names and pseudonyms. Common tactic deployed is to overcrowd someone’s hashtag with negative even extreme insulting content, which should normally be banned automatically. For the purpose of the guide creation amazing 15700 twits have been covered coming from stuning cca 6000 twitter users.
Such a negative and harmful tactics are definitely shaping the ways in which the freedom of speech is going to be guaranteed on social media and on internet as a whole in the very near future. As a direct consequence of the developing trends, internet marketing is going to be negatively affected as well providing less and less room for creativity and fair competition.