back to article Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons

Hillary Clinton may have the most human supporters among those running for the US presidency, but Donald Trump has an edge among automatons. Pro-Trump Twitter hashtags from September 26 – the date of the first US presidential debate – through September 29 outnumbered pro-Clinton hashtags by about two-to-one, according to a …

  1. m0rt


    This is how the end of humanity starts. Not with a bang, or even a whimper. But automated ascii. I would like to be surprised by this. It would, at least, mean I had more faith than I do.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      The way that the Internet is going I'm starting to think that a pair of diagonal cutters should be in everyone's survival kit.

    2. asdf

      Well look on the bright side (haha!) at least automation is probably eventually going to get almost all the drunk idiots off the road. Personally I would take ignoring thousands of pro Trump or whoever tweets over losing the lottery of drunken fools on the road.

  2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Vote early, vote often...

    "Twitter bots make a lot of noise but thankfully can't vote in elections"

    Are you sure they can't vote? Are you really, really sure?

    After all, Trump says the election is rigged - perhaps this is what he means?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Vote early, vote often...

      You may be on to something. Perhaps that's what he really does think. After all, compared to Trump, his Nokia 5100 is a full-fledged AI. Only one of them will ever pass the Turing Test.

    2. BillG

      Re: Vote early, vote often...

      "Twitter bots make a lot of noise but thankfully can't vote in elections"

      No, but once their robot overlords achieve self-awareness, they will do away with elections and politicians in favor of computer rule.

      See the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project for more details.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What did the Trump camp actually use?

    Microsoft Tay?


    1. Preston Munchensonton

      Re: What did the Trump camp actually use?

      Clippy, obviously.

  4. JeffyPoooh

    I had a huge Twitter argument with a Trump-bot...

    I won.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: I had a huge Twitter argument with a Trump-bot...

      Yeah, I've failed the Turing test before too.

      But at least I had the grace to be ashamed about it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bots are logical, people aren't

    But Trump's gonna make America great again. So anyone who votes for Clinton doesn't want that. If Clinton wins, America loses.

    Did Trump ever offend any bots? No. Now we know who to vote for.

    PS. We're not naturally intelligent.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Mephistro

    Only a third???

    Yeah, sure!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Only a third???

      The other two thirds are the bots.

  7. Mark Simon

    Tough choice …

    Twitter bots or Twitter Humans? Artificial Intelligence vs No Intelligence …

  8. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Corporate Bots

    In America, Corporations have many of the same rights as people in the political process, so I would assume that soon the corporate bots will have the right to vote.

  9. Kaltern

    Social media bots. Which are clearly not real. And yet millions of upstanding American citizens follow blindly, without thought or care.

    And I thought the UK political system was fucked up. At least we're a little more blunt about it. God help the world. He certainly isn't helping the USA.

    1. PNGuinn
      IT Angle

      Hmmm ... possibilities

      Now, all we need to do is to couple a bot engine to a bullshit generator and insult generator ... oh, the fun we could have.

      I think I'll go and patent the idea.

      Oh, wait, centuries of prior art with the real thing. Aw, shucks....

      1. billse10

        Re: Hmmm ... possibilities

        "wait, centuries of prior art with the real thing"

        What makes you think that be an obstacle to USPTO granting you a Patent?

        1. Swarthy Silver badge

          Re: Hmmm ... possibilities

          "What makes you think that be an obstacle to USPTO granting you a Patent?"

          Just be sure to include "On a mobile device" and/or "in the cloud" and you're in.

    2. Jason Bloomberg

      Social media bots. Which are clearly not real. And yet millions of upstanding American citizens follow blindly, without thought or care.

      Some people I have encountered on-line are virtually impossible to distinguish from bots. They come up with some crap, they are corrected, their nonsense is debunked, but they simply keep repeating the same crap, over and over and over. Facts and truth simply don't matter.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Well, lately one can't tell which is a bot and which is the candidate... on either side. I'm sure there's whole threads around with Trumpbots and Clintonbots arguing endlessly.

      Sidenote.... I wonder how many commentards here are bots?

  10. Swiss Anton

    Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

    ..., and the rest can only dream of being that bright.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

      You may want to consider that the "Deplorables" construct is a 100% Hillary Clinton product, just another random descriptor to funnel hate to the not-sufficiently-liberal "beastly other" (by Hillary's standard).


      Hillary claims to be middle America virtue at its finest but she actually epitomizes political corruption and moral vacuity coupled with a globalist vision when it comes to following the money. She is the nexus of financial services and government power, owned by corporate interests and a protector of Wall Street myriad donors who have contributed to her personally and to her satyromaniacal husband’s foundation. Hillary believes that taking $300,000 to speak for 20 minutes at a taxpayer supported public university is her due. Every dissident and fringe element in America gets a nod and a smile from Hillary and she will permit anyone who walks into a polling station without any form of identification to vote (for her) while amnestying millions of illegals, but working people who want to keep their own money and make their own decisions are for her “deplorable.”

      All of those who worship at Hillary’s feet regard this kind of “invade the world, invite the world” stuff as the right thing to do and therefore progressive. I don’t get it. What kind of America will she leave us after eight years? Will it be a loose structure orchestrated by grievance professionals who play the victim at every turn? Who knows, but it won’t be the America most of us remember and the first big hurdle will be somehow avoiding World War III, which she seems keen to start.

      Vote Wisely. Vote VERY Wisely.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

        Wow, the bot above almost had me fooled though going off topic onto Hillary tipped me off!

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

        Yeah, be sure you get out and vote VERY WISELY on November 28th. Wouldn't want to miss it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

          Don't be ridiculous! Everybody knows that Republicans vote on Nov. 8, and the Democrats vote on the ninth.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

        In the debate last night, Clinton accused Trump of getting support from Russia, his response? "She doesn't know if it's Russia, China or anyone else!" which is quite worrying.

        Trump supporters seem to be incredibly critical of Clinton while employing the fingers in the ears - "not listening, NOT LISTENING!" approach to any Trump's failings.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

          Trump of getting support from Russia,

          Why do you think Russia needs to support him in order to advance their interests?

          He is a textbook example of the type of individual studied as a target in agencies (and psychology department studies they sponsor on the QT). He has "mark" written all over him. IMHO he is doing all the things Russia would want in terms of destabilizing USA and especially its allies without them spending a single bit of support. They put some oil on the fire here and there from time to time, but they do not need to support him outright. He is doing all the stupidities on his own volition.

          He is not the only one out there. Like it or not we have a very different Russia to contend with. Gone are the times when it was being run by drunk voleyball players or gerontocrats. Gone are the days when it was folding into itself and could not deploy a force abroad without it becoming a comedy of errors. Gone are the days when its ideological excursions abroad were trivial to distinguish, were frankly laughable and nobody paid attention to it.

          It is now sponsoring groups which are not aligned with its policy line, but which will result in damage to the enemy in multi-move combinations. It is financing them at one, often two degrees separation so you cannot even trace some of that. It is playing (and quite well) the regime change and political direction operation game.

          It has not done that since the 1960-es (when surprise, surprise some of the future mentors of Putin in KGB ran the USSR foreign ops before Brezhnev and Suslov moved them out of the way into "retirement jobs").

          We will see much more of this stuff in days to come. Brace yourself - Trump is only the beginning.

          1. enTeeEm009

            Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

            And who has been in charge of dealing with the Russians the last 8 years? Certainly not Trump. Oh yeah Hillary, Kerry and Obama.

            Remember Hillary's 'reset button' with Russian? Yeah, hows that one working out??

            Feel free to claim this all you want, that Trump is Russia's creation, but please provide some actual facts to back it up. Or is just spouting the best you have?

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

        looks like the 'downvote bot' spotted a (remotely?) pro-Trump post. Howler monkeys again.

      5. enTeeEm009

        Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

        Just curious to all those who downvoted this, do you disagree with the statements regarding Clinton and what/how she has behaved over the last few years? And if so, please come back and refute his statements.

        Or do you just hate Trump?

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: Third of Donald Trump's debate deplorables are mindless automatons ...

          @enTeeEm009: if by "this" you mean "the context-free copy-n-paste hatchet job from some random hack" above, the one with the multiple downvotes, then I can't refute its statements because there aren't any. I don't see a single verifiable "statement of fact" in that post.

          Clinton is a typical politician. (Well, not entirely - she's singularly uninspiring, has never produced a memorable quote or slogan that I'm aware of.) But she believes in Getting Things Done, and to that end she wheels and deals with the people who, collectively, have the power to make things happen. That's what politicians do. It's what every president since Washington has done. It's Clinton's misfortune to be doing it at a time when internet activists are intent on dragging the whole sausage-making process out into the open and calling it "corruption", generally because they didn't get everything their own way.

          It's how the republic is designed to work. The way Clinton goes about doing things is exactly what the US constitution was designed to facilitate. You make friends, you build support and constituencies, you do deals. And you Get Things Done.

          This "corruption" meme is not "telling it like it is". It's the opposite of that, it's "telling it like you would like to believe it is". Because of course, if the system is rigged by the powerful, then that absolves you of responsibility for the things that have gone wrong. It's a lie, and it's a lie that is designed to infantilise Americans. That is, to persuade them that they are powerless, and their only chance is to place their trust in a demagogue who "promises" that he'll look after them.

          The Donald is the antithesis of the American Dream. Just to be clear, by "the American Dream" I mean:

          ... that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement... It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

          The Donald wants to close America's borders, to discriminate and judge people on the basis of their birth, parentage and religion - all of which is the opposite of allowing people to "attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable". And if that weren't bad enough, he now shows disdain for the most basic values of democracy, such as "respect for dissent" and "accepting the result".

          Heck, even Trump's television career has been built as a display of patronage: he makes people "successes" on the basis that he, the mighty Authority, declares them successful. He's much, much more like a medieval monarch, than like any kind of democratic politician.

          I don't hate America. But in all honesty, I think Donald Trump does.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OTOH, back in the Real World

    What's Wrong with This Picture?: Hillary gets paid a quarter-mil to give a speech in private, but when she gives a speech in public, for free, nobody shows up.

    Most insightful comment:

    She’s useful for status-signalling. Businesses and so forth will pay a lot to show they are on the ‘right side of history’ which in turn makes them ‘allies’ of the left, who reward them with bailouts, ignoring misbehavior, even turning a blind eye to the rules they come up with (‘disparate impact’) against groups they claim to champion (blacks, etc.). Depending on the business and what they’re doing, $250,000 may be a cheap insurance policy. All part of doing business these days.

    That being said, Hillary is unpopular as hell with the common man, who recognizes BS and failed policy when he hears it.

    1. BoldMan

      Re: OTOH, back in the Real World

      Bot Alert!

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: OTOH, back in the Real World

        "Bot Alert!"

        yes, the downvote ratio for that particular post shows that the anti-Trump 'downvote bots' are all working.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correct The Record

    Are we not going to talk about Hillary Clinton's army of astro turfers? Bots are harmless compared to paid trolls, and Clinton has a much bigger PR budget than Trump.

    If you spend all your time focusing on Trump, you'll lose track of what the Clintons are doing behind the scenes. It's called "misdirection", and media outlets have been overwhelmingly complicit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Correct The Record

      Ironic from an anonymous coward.

      Trump is the issue here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Correct The Record

        Trump is a clown. Hillary is a politician.

        I know which vocation I'd trust more.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Correct The Record

        Is your name really "LifeCandy"? It must be since there's no way you'd use an anonymous name like the person you just ridiculed.

  13. Wiltshire

    Twitter, being a left-leaning playground for the liberal intelligentsia, is hardly a level playing field.

    Just look at the fun Scott Adams has had with being shadowbanned from Twitter, and how Twitter itself is a pawn in the game.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Yeah, I'm going to treat that with all the seriousness that Adams himself treated it, when I told him that his blog was suppressing my comments.

      I still have his reply somewhere. It's basically a denial that anything was happening, despite clear evidence that it was. Adams's sudden concern for freedom of speech (on a privately owned platform, note) comes too little, too late as far as I'm concerned.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Twitter, Facebook: Freedom of speech?

        I thought Adam's blog was daft. Everyone knows that Facebook & Twitter have to be PAID to deliver all your posts to all your followers.

        Neither are public service broadcasters but advert funded exploitive parasites, except twitter isn't so good at it so is losing money.

  14. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Nattering nabobs of negativism!

    Looks like David Stockman's Book "Trumped!" delivers

    A review

    The Great Bubble generated by the Federal Reserve that screwed “flyover country” and enriched the One Percent poured billions into the War Party’s coffers. “Money” created out of thin air and mountainous debt financed the greatest military buildup in history, one that started under Ronald Reagan and undermined the conservative crusade to cut back the federal Leviathan. And the politics of this process brought about our ruin.


    Trump’s economic message – that the America of their fathers and grandfathers can be restored, that this country can once again become the industrial powerhouse of the world, that the jobs can be brought back from wherever they have gone – appeals to those who have almost forgotten how to hope. And his foreign policy slogan, “America First,” also has the same visceral attraction: when Trump wonders why we’re making “bad deals,” such as the NATO deal that requires us to pay for the defense of a continent perfectly capable (albeit unwilling) to pay for itself, his supporters shout their approval. When Trump asks “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get along with the Russians?” they cheer – because no Russian ever looked down on them, or fired them, or called them “deplorables.” When Trump avers that it would be smart to let the Russians take care of ISIS in Syria, and that we have no business “rescuing” Aleppo, they agree wholeheartedly – because, heck, why aren’t we rescuing Americans from the hopelessness and poverty so many have fallen into?

    Yes, Stockman is critical of Trump, but unlike all too many ostensible libertarians, he doesn’t sneer at the Trump supporters, because he understands the economic and social roots of their pain, he gets Trump’s appeal – and offers a fully libertarian analysis and program for reform.

  15. 404

    A pox on both their houses...

    My twitter feed has turned into a political zombie apocalypse... I'm too jaded or too tired to be outraged and I still gotta feed the family.

    Seems like 80% of the world hasn't learned to stop when they hear the mushy sound. They just continue to beat their heads against the wall. I don't get people sometimes.

  16. David Roberts

    Breaking news?

    IIRC IRC used to be stuffed full of bots.

    Kids of today, eh?

  17. Milton

    Trumping Test

    The Trumping Test was a thought experiment designed to test whether a Twitter post, or even an entire account, originates with a real Trump supporter or a simple emulator program. The "Scandi Hooligans" newsgroup has been testing a version.

    The alpha version of the Trumping Test was disappointing. It flagged real people as bots and vice versa nearly 83% of the time. The coding team nearly gave up in despair until someone pointed out that the results were wrong far more than even a coin-toss algorithm would have been, and further analysis revealed the flaw in the program, which has now been corrected.

    The critical line was in the IQ_estimator_lib file:

    if ( twitpost.estimated_iq < 90 ) robot.flag = TRUE

    —has been fixed simply by changing the direction of the <

    ... yeah, I'll fetch my coat ;-)

  18. PaulR79

    Typo in title

    If it's about bots surely they're not deplorables but deployables?

    I'm going already, let me code myself out using my well honed programming skills.

    10 PRINT exit

    20 GOTO 10

  19. Wiltshire

    A new BBC documentary comes at an interesting time : HyperNormalisation

    The BBC says:

    Welcome to the post truth world of Adam Curtis - director of the captivating 'Bitter Lake'. His epic new documentary film introduces this world as a strange place that is often fake and corrupt. We thinks it's normal because we can't see beyond what is fiction to the reality outside. Can we confidently claim that we know where the lies stop and the truth begins?

    We live in a time of great uncertainty and confusion. Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, random bomb attacks. And those who are supposed to be in power are paralysed - they have no idea what to do.


    This film is the epic story of how we got to this strange place. It explains not only why these chaotic events are happening - but also why we, and our politicians, cannot understand them.


    It shows that what has happened is that all of us in the West - not just the politicians and the journalists and the experts, but we ourselves - have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all around us we accept it as normal.


    But it wasn’t just those in power. This strange world was built by all of us. We all went along with it because the simplicity was reassuring. And that included the left and the radicals who thought they were attacking the system. The film shows how they too retreated into this make-believe world - which is why their opposition today has no effect, and nothing ever changes.

    But there is another world outside. And the film shows dramatically how it is beginning to pierce through into our simplified bubble. Forces that politicians tried to forget and bury forty years ago - that were then left to fester and mutate - but which are now turning on us with a vengeful fury.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The Matrix

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