Fake followers are commonly used to boost status on social media. But what happens when they are used to influence public opinion. In this episode, we talk to Marcel Schliebs from the Oxford Internet Institute about his report on the Public Republic of China using fake accounts to amplify political opinions on Twitter. We ask whether fake followers really make a difference in boosting messages and how much engagement with these accounts is actually real?
We also talk with Dr Timothy Graham from the ADM+S Centre about his research into the hashtags #DictatorDan and #IStandWithDan.