Bots started their activity in Internet in the early years of the World Wide Web and continued their evolution while modern search engines were emerging. Bots have always been there. However, it seems that we are starting to realise their presence, for better or worse, as a result of Donald Trump’s election victory and, in hindsight, the discovery of thousands of fake news that went viral on Facebook, Google, and Twitter, potentially giving Trump unfair advantage.
Behind the circulation of this misinformation are algorithms and bots, which can be configured with good or evil intentions. Spamming, scamming, and ads fraud are consequences of the activity of malign bots. However, bots are also very beneficial. Are bots blessing or curse? How can webmasters, social media, online retailers, and governments fight against this fakeness and misinformation spread?