Fianna Fáil denies paying for bots to boost Stephen Donnelly tweet 1 month ago

Fianna Fáil denies paying for bots to boost Stephen Donnelly tweet

A tweet from the Health Minister received over 200 retweets within 20 minutes, seemingly from Turkish bot accounts.

In a bizarre turn of events, Fianna Fáil has denied paying for bots to retweet a message from Stephen Donnelly.

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The Minister for Health shared a tweet in relation to the confirmation of plans for the new National Maternity Hospital.

"Today is an important milestone in delivering a world-class new National Maternity Hospital for women and babies," the tweet reads.

"Cabinet approval of the legal framework ensures all legally permissible services will be available. We'll work now to get this vital hospital built."

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Within 20 minutes of the tweet being made public, it had amassed over 200 retweets from accounts that appeared to be bots based in Turkey.

After a couple of hours, the 200 retweets had disappeared, leaving social media users confused as to who had paid for the artificial engagement.

In a statement sent to JOE, Fianna Fáil denied any payment to promote the message from Donnelly's account.

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"Fianna Fáil have not paid for any promotional activity in relation to the social media post from Minister Donnelly and have flagged the unusual activity with Twitter," a spokesperson for the political party said.

It is yet unclear whether more bots have since been paid to retweet the post, or who had originally paid to promote the tweet.

Elon Musk's massive acquisition of Twitter was recently put on hold, following the publishing of a filing that estimates how many fake/spam accounts are on the site.

"Twitter deal temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users," Musk tweeted last Friday (13 May).

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Twitter published a filing on Monday that estimated that less than 5% of users on the platform were fake accounts or bots.

Musk said that, along with loosening restrictions for what can be said on the site, he would look to get rid of all fake/spam accounts on Twitter.