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What is CIB?

Potential coordinated inauthentic behavior on #Voice referendum

What is Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior-#Voice

A quick analysis of some twitter content has unearthed potential coordinated inauthentic behavior (CIB) from accounts posting the key line “Recognition YES. Voice NO” in support of the NO camp in The 2023 Australian Indigenous Voice to Parliament Referendum.

These accounts, which have been tweeting "Recognition YES. Voice NO," were identified through the use of the bot detection tool provided by 5th Column.

The key point is many different accounts posting the same boolean text is an indicator of a potential sophisticated CIB on social media.

One of the accounts @10100011011x_0 which scored 65% on 5th Column and also posting about cryptocurrency, US politics, Russia and Ukraine, climate change and the #Voice particularly stood out as likely an inauthentic account. They also were restricted by twitter on 08 Sep 2023 at the time of drafting this post.

Questions come to mind when I look at these accounts.

  1. Are they Bots or Humans?
    1. How does election advertising laws apply to these anonymous accounts clearly pushing a side?
  2. Are they run from Australia within the NO or YES camp or a foreign actor?
    1. If they are a foreign actor does our foreign interference or election laws apply?
    2. Can "X" (Twitter) verify any of this?

5th Column suggest there is a mix of human and potential bot accounts involved in both camps.

5th Column scores

What does X (Twitter) think of CIB?

CIB is clearly against its policies. Where they deny

  • inauthentic engagements, that attempt to make accounts or content appear more popular or active than they are;
  • coordinated activity, that attempts to artificially influence conversations through the use of multiple accounts, fake accounts, automation and/or scripting;
  • coordinated harmful activity that encourages or promotes behavior which violates Our Rules;

What is 5th Column

The 5th Column platform is an is an artificial intelligence that detects bots or inauthentic accounts on social media. It is designed to track advertising fraud where up to 32% of digital spend is lost. It will be operational during the Voice Referendum. It was originally developed in 2021 when the Pentagon was attacked on social media by the Russian made SANA botnet during the Myanmar coup.

The 5th Column algorithm utilizes a scoring system to determine whether a user is a human, a bot, or falls into the ambiguous gray area. A score of 0 indicates a high probability of the user being a human, while a score of 1 suggests a high likelihood of the user being a bot.

If an account is regularly engaging with bots then their score may tend to be high even if they are actually a human.

5th Column Scoring system

What is our position?

Internet 2.0 does not have a stated political position as we see ourselves as bipartisan. We have not been paid by any political party or campaign. We are pro-democracy.

We suggest social media companies should remove bots and monitor for CIB. We suggest people should have to verify they are a citizen of the country they are actively engaging in the political debate of.