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Bernie Bot, also known as Berniebot, is a slang term used to describe an automated computer program designed to interact with and provoke those discussing Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. These programs resemble hostile supporters of Sanders, known colloquially as Berniebros, harassing and distracting targets for the purposes of political gain typically for a foreign nation. However, the term has also been as a pejorative description of steadfast supporters of Sanders, as well.
While "Berniebot" has come to describe computer systems used to infiltrate social media, its earliest usage was that of an insult for Sanders' supporters. For examples, on October 20th, 2015, the Facebook group "Bernie Bots" launched, using the term to describe Sanders' supporters as robotic automatons without an opinion of their own. On March 14th, 2016, an anonymous 4chan  user referred to someone critical of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump as a "berniebot" (shown below).
The radical, outspoken Bernie Sanders supporter who roams through the realms of social media to enlighten the uninformed people about the meaning of "democratic socialist", "corporate-owned" news outlets/media, and the untrustworthiness of Hillary Clinton. They are commonly spotted on Facebook posting the same comments, of which are unorginal (usually copied & pasted), on Hillary Clinton's campaign page or on news stories about her/Bernie.
However, despite its earliest definitions, the term changed following reports of foreign disinformation campaigns used to sew discord among American voters ahead of the 2016 United States presidential election. Among the tactics used, were bots programmed to provoke supporters of the presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by spreading false information and baiting arguments.
One of the earliest known reports of this comes from the Huffington Post, who reported in March 2017 that the admin of a pro-Bernie Sanders Facebook had seen an influx of volatile Sanders supporters in June 2016, who began spreading fake news and pro-Sanders memes. A private investigator later discovered these users were based in Macedonia and Albania, spreading pro-Sanders propaganda and misinformation. Another Sanders group admin said, "It came in like a wave, like a tsunami. It was like a flood of misinformation."
By the end of March 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee had confirmed that Russian intelligence had been using or attempting to use supporters of Bernie Sanders as unwitting Russian agents to spread misinformation. Much of this, however, was started by bots that would spread memes and misinformation in the hopes that it would be shared for its inflammatory content. Raw Story reports that "during the 2016 election, their social media feeds and pro-Sanders Facebook groups were inundated with what they now believe were Russian bots spewing anti-Hillary memes including fake news stories about Clinton using a body double and murdering her ideological opponents."
Two years later, as the 2020 presidential election and Democratic primary began Politico reported that a similar misinformation campaign was already underway. They write, "the goal of the coordinated barrage appears to be undermining the nascent candidacies through the dissemination of memes, hashtags, misinformation and distortions of their positions. But the divisive nature of many of the posts also hints at a broader effort to sow discord and chaos within the Democratic presidential primary." This, according to their review of date from social media, includes activity from pro-Sanders bot accounts.
By this time, however, many online were already aware of bot activity, warning people not to be baited by their activity. Twitter  user @missmayn tweeted, "Most of the assault we received from Bernie Bros were Russian bots executing disinformation warfare. A lot of us, especially women, are still being attacked. That said, Dems cannot repeat 2016. If you support Bernie, don't be an asshole. If you hate him, don't be an asshole." Within three days, the post received more than 490 retweets and 3,600 likes (shown below, left). Twitter user @igorvolsky tweeted, "Okay, the twitter account I just called out appears to be a bot. I have since deleted that tweet. However, his response to me is *not atypical* from what's appearing in my mentions from real accounts who support @BernieSanders" (shown below, right).
 The Daily Dot – Are you being harassed by a Bernie Bro or a Bernie bot?
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