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Scientists uncover 350,000-strong Star Wars bot army on Twitter

A Star Wars droid army

University College London computer scientists have unveiled a dark force hidden below the surface of Twitter, a short-lived Star Wars themed bot army.

Researchers found evidence of a Twitter botnet that boasts as many of 350,000 accounts, each seemingly dedicated to posting assorted quotes from Star Wars novels, researcher Shi Zhou told New Scientist.

He said the accounts shared many similar traits, like utilising 'Twitter for Windows Phone' and being located in unlikely to be inhabited areas lampoonded in the middle of oceans and deserts.

Zhou theorised that the accounts were set up as a means to sell followers. Alternatively they could have been used to influence Twitter trends, helping surface Star Wars content.

It appears the accounts only tweeted book quotes from June 2013 to 14 July 2013, coincidentally five days after the release of the novel 'Star Wars: Crucible'.

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