I’m planning on conducting a study on the spread of governmental propaganda, fake news, and rise of xenophobic hatred among users of social media platforms. As in my country it is still Facebook which is the most popular such site across generations, that’s the one I’m considering to choose.
My plan is to set up a couple hundreds of bots. The government of my country has gradually shifted towards strong populism, xenophobia, and authoritarianism in recent years, thus pro-governmental groups and Facebook pages would surely be an ideal start. The accounts would seem like a real person (some with photos of real individuals, preferably using royalty-free online image sources) but most, obviously, would just have some generic profile picture.
The point is to use marginalized opposition, as well as international news sites as the source of information to protest against the government’s use of propaganda, hence raising awareness to the dangers of public incitement against a group of people (be it either members of an ethnic, religious, sexual minority, intellectuals, critiques, pro-opposition figures or any other group).
A script would be in charge of regularly logging in each of these accounts and randomly selecting one account each day to be the one hinting the comments across governmental platforms, while managing all the rest to like and share the thoughts of the daily selected account.
My question is: Is there a concern about Facebook detecting that a huge number of accounts are being managed from a single computer, and shutting the whole down? Would a VPN service be a solution, given that the script would only use a specific IP address to log in at most a couple of accounts and then change the IP to a different one? Or, instead of the hassle and financial consequences of having to use multiple VPNs, would it be more advisable to use the Tor browser and access the Facebook accounts via that?
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