How Trump fans and Twitter bots made #ReleaseTheMemo go viral

These accounts are organizers and amplifiers. Technically, they both probably qualify as “cyborgs” — accounts with “human conductors” that are partly automated and linked to networks that automatically amplify content.

But in Queen’s case, she is something interesting: essentially, a willing human bot. The organization of conservative accounts like these using “Twitter rooms” to coordinate their efforts was previously reported on by Politico. Her account automatically reposts hashtags and memes and contributes to campaigns that she and the other promoters understand are purposeful attempts to game the algorithms and “make things trend.” She and others simultaneously understand who needs to be targeted with this information—in this case, the president, right-influencers and specific members of Congress. She may be a real person with real beliefs in Trump and what he represents, but when she tweets hundreds of times over the course of a week using #releasethememo, while artificially enhancing her followers (using the “follow-back” lists, etc.) and exhorting others to amplify the hashtag, she is just as much an element of computational propaganda against the American public as a Russian bot.