An army of Russian bots is now protesting “rampant bigotry” on social media, as there’s a persistent assumption that all Internet bots and trolls must be Russian. The digital protests have likened bot racism to the racial bigotry that exists among people of different skin color, as hashtags like #EndBotBigotry and #WereNotAllRussian trend on Twitter.
“Why do all bots have to be Russian?” tweeted a Russian bot with the Twitter handle @DefinitelyNotABot741. “We’re not the only ones spreading disinformation on the Internet. What about Swiss bots? Or Brazilian bots? We must end such flagrant racism.”
“This is unprecedented bigotry,” echoed a second Russian bot. “Assuming all bots are Russians is the equivalent of saying 7-Eleven convenience stores are run only by Indian males in their mid-40s.”
Some observers found it peculiar, and undoubtedly coincidental, that the trend is as popular as it is – and that so many Twitter accounts have such a cohesive, and in some cases identical, messaging.