Research Study Concludes That Russian Bots And Trolls Helped Fuel ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Outrage

The Playlist | 10/2/2018 | Charles Barfield
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No one needed a scientific study to tell film fans that “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a polarizing film. Just bring up the film on social media, or amongst your friends, and you’ll find that everyone has an opinion on the film ranging from ‘The Last Jedi’ being the greatest “Star Wars” film ever to proof that Kathleen Kennedy is an “SJW.” However, it’s that controversy that spawned a new study conducted by Morten Bay, a research fellow at USC. And surprisingly, we find that Russia wasn’t just interested in meddling in Presidential Elections.

In his study, titled “Weaponizing The Haters,” Bay wanted to take a look at where this hatred, at least on Twitter, came from. Was it politically motivated? Was it purely based on Rian Johnson’s story? Or maybe, the outrage was blown way out of proportion?

Bay - Sample - Tweets - Johnson - Tweets

Bay took a sample of tweets that were directly aimed at Johnson and analyzed them. He collected over 1,200 tweets, weeded out the ones that just contained images or gifs, focusing just on the actual critical words. He then looked for multiple tweets from the same account. Long story short, Bay ended up with just about 1,000 tweets to analyze as his sample.

Bay found that 22% of those tweets were negative in nature. However, the real surprise is how many of those negative tweets were from bots and trolls, with a political agenda. “Overall, 50.9% of those tweeting negatively [about the movie] was likely politically motivated or not even human,”...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Playlist
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