Stories

Congress vs bots

Illustration: Rebecca ZIsser / Axios

Bots and fake accounts have been used to steal advertising dollars and game digital commerce for years, but the story of Russian meddling in the election is now shining the light on a different bot problem, which is that bots and fake accounts are being weaponized by bad actors to cause chaos, disrupt elections, and spread false and misleading information.

Why it matters: The government has stalled on regulating the digital ecosystem for years, in part because there's no agency that was ever set up to manage the internet, the way the FCC manages radio and TV. But now that the bot problem is affecting politics, Congress is starting to take bots and fake accounts seriously.