Feb 6, 2017

Trump fans used Twitter bots to create a "giant megaphone"

Doug Strickland / Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP

Some Trump campaign supporters became adept at using Twitter bots to amplify their online voices, giving him a little-recognized advantage on social media. A WashPost front-pager, "Online pundits use 'bots' to turn tweets into roars," by Craig Timberg in Chicago, unpacks the phenomenon:

  • Two Twitter accounts of Daniel John Sobieski, 68, "one of the nation's most prolific conservative voices ... tweet more than 1,000 times a day using 'schedulers' that work through stacks of his own pre-written posts in repetitive loops."
  • "Researchers have documented the power of automation technology to magnify some points of view while drowning out others... [I]t's like a giant megaphone..."
  • "One research team found that 'highly automated accounts' supporting President Trump ... out-tweeted those supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton by a ratio of 5 to 1 in the final days before the vote."
  • "This Twitter advantage had spillover effects, helping pro-Trump and anti-Clinton stories to trend online, making them more likely to find their way into Facebook feeds or Google's list of popular news stories."

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Joe Biden places second in Nevada caucuses, ahead of Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden a Nevada Caucus watch party in Las Vegas on Saturday. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden secured second place in the Nevada Democratic caucuses with former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg third, according to NBC News projections Sunday.

Why it matters: It's a boost for Biden, who's widely tipped to be endorsed by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday, ahead of this week's South Carolina primary.

By the numbers: With almost 88% of precincts reporting, Biden has 20.9% of the Nevada votes and Buttigieg has 13.6%.

Flashback: Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucuses

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Exclusive: Trump's "Deep State" hit list

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Pool, Drew Angerer/Getty Staff

The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.

Driving the news: By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he'd gathered reams of material to support his suspicions.