Online bots scan social media sites and then send out automatic messages to users. Political parties use them to get their messages out. So they have the power to shape public opinion, and they can even have an impact on elections.

Fenwick McKelvey from Concordia University and Elizabeth Dubois from University of Ottawa recently wrote about bots for Policy Options. They found that the risks of this kind of digital campaign could soon outweigh the benefits.

McKelvey sat down with journalist and McGill University law student Ryan Hicks at our Montreal studio to talk about why political parties should commit to using bots responsibly.

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Fenwick McKelvey
Fenwick McKelvey is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University. He is co-director of the Applied AI Institute and the Machine Agencies Working Group at the Milieux Institute. Twitter @mckelveyf
Ryan Hicks
Ryan Hicks is a law student at McGill University in Montreal, journalist and 2018 McBurney Latin America Fellow. He is a former Quebec political correspondent for the CBC and has reported from across Canada and around the world.
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