Today it was announced by a coroner in the UK that Meredith Kercher was 'unlawfully killed.' Meanwhile, one of the three people accused of her murder, Amanda Knox, appears to be exploiting social media to spread misinformation about the case.
The world has changed irreversibly since the advent of Facebook, Twitter and countless other social media platforms. Twitter stands above the rest and has been instrumental in affecting politics/rebellions around the world.
Some of the changes have been for the better and some for the worse. These same venues that bring people of like minds together can be abused by bullies, pedophiles and con artists. Also apparently abusing the social media network are murder suspects like Amanda Knox.
Ms. Knox has been embroiled in the murder case of Meredith Kercher since 2007. Knox has been found guilty by more than one Italian trial. While she awaits extradition after the Italian Supreme Court finalizes her guilty stance, she and/or her advocates have been using (and abusing) social media outlets like Twitter in an attempt to garner public support.
Much of the media manipulation seems to have been perpetrated by her PR Firm Gogerty Marriott. Ostensibly using the funds from Knox's millions from book deals, they have hired companies which provide bots and send millions of messages/tweets from multiple user accounts on Twitter. This gives the impression that there are hundreds/thousands of people tweeting when in fact it is one computer doing all of the work.
This mechanical manipulation has been used constantly and consistently in the Amanda Knox campaign to spread misinformation about the murder case and to give the illusion of Knox having many supporters for her cause when in fact little to none exist in reality.
Knox announced in the international press when she officially opened her Twitter account in December 2013 shortly after announcing the opening of her blog. She began tweeting pictures of herself holding signs to spread her messages. This sensationally backfired when people around the world parodied her.
To compensate (or overcompensate) for her lack of support, Amanda Knox's team have perpetuated a three-tier attack on social network Twitter. First they use bots to spread the same message from multiple user accounts continuously on her hashtag #amandaknox, then they create new accounts to follow her in order to give the appearance of her having thousands of supporters.
Others have written about Amanda Knox's team breaking Twitter rules and regulations by using bots to spread false information. Justice4ever.com recently wrote an article titled, "Is Amanda Knox PR Buying SPAMBOT to flood Twitter?" the title was posed as a question but there was no question about it, the answer is a resounding 'yes!'
Twitter is quick to delete these offensive tweets when they rear their ugly heads over and over again on the amandaknox hashtag. It comes as no surprise that a law breaker would not follow Twitters guidelines that prohibit the use of bots to spam users.
Not only does Knox use bots to spread misinformation, she also appears to have more than a few following her. This has bulked up her follower numbers to over 6,000 twitter accounts. However, taking just a peek at some of her alleged followers quickly reveals more than just a few bot accounts or fake Twitter accounts.
One example is 'douglas ray wood @hulleston' who appears to have opened his account for the sole purpose of sending two tweets to support Ms. Knox then he disappears into the ether. This nonexistent person could have been set up by a bot or someone from Knox's public relations team. This is just one example of many of their creating fraudulent accounts to misrepresent the number of followers Knox has.
The third line of attack has been hiring people to tweet in Knox's defense 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These paid tweeters also interact with the bot accounts to enhance the appearance of more supporters for Knox.
Thanks to Knox and her team, future murder suspects have a new template to follow. Besides denying their guilt, they now know to hire a public relations firm as soon as possible in order to spread as much misinformation as possible. This will include more social media manipulation like Amanda Knox has done and continues to do. While Twitter vows to fight this fraudulent activity, it looks like it is here to stay for at least a while.
In the meantime, you may recognize a bot or two if you decide to read the amandaknox hashtag. If so, be sure to click the '***more' button on the lower right of the tweet and click 'spam' to help Twitter fight these nefarious network pests who help to promote a murder suspect.