Owen Jones Ridicules The Idea That Russian Bots Helped Corbyn Campaign
30 April 2018, 14:50
Owen Jones laughed off claims that Russian Twitter bots boosted Jeremy Corbyn's election performance last year.
The Sunday Times reported that 6,500 Russian Twitter accounts rallied behind Labour in the weeks before Corbyn's surprising election result.
But speaking to Nick Ferrari, Mr Jones dismissed the idea that Twitter has the ability to affect that many people's votes.
He said: "There's a tendency for people who don't like the result of an election to blame Russia.
"I campaigned against Brexit, I didn't like the result. I didn't want Donald Trump to become President of the United States. On each side, the losing side has people who cannot come to terms with the result and blame anybody except themselves for the result, saying it was all down to Russia.
"If you look at the study, it says there were 20,000 election-related tweets over a four-week period from thousands of accounts. That's two or three tweets a week.
"A lot of them are just retweeting popular tweets, because they are trying to make themselves look realistic.
"But that doesn't mean voters are hunched over their computer going 'I was going to vote for the Conservative Party, but some Twitter account with five followers has just retweeted Jeremy Corbyn. Off I go to vote for Labour.' It's unrealistic.
"And if we are talking about social media, Facebook has the biggest impact, that's where Momentum's videos went viral."