Episode 4 - Uber and the Taxibots

Is the London taxi trade waging a sophisticated propaganda war on Uber?

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In this episode Mike and John discuss the apparent use of bots in a social media campaign by the London taxi trade, following Transport For London's decision to revoke Uber's operating license.

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The conversation on Twitter around this issue was found to be led by a number of key accounts identifying as taxi drivers, but some of which appear to be automated. The creation of hashtags and memes designed to question Uber's safety record points to a sophisticated astroturfing operation.

A Mentionmapp of key accounts driving the conversation about the banning of Uber in London and a petition in supporting of reinstating the company's operating license.

A Mentionmapp of key accounts driving the conversation about the banning of Uber in London and a petition in supporting of reinstating the company's operating license.

@paultmadden's retweet network, portrayed in Mentionmapp.

@paultmadden's retweet network, portrayed in Mentionmapp.

@AdrianCroydon's retweet map, portrayed in Mentionmapp.

@AdrianCroydon's retweet map, portrayed in Mentionmapp.

Examples of the apparently automated amplification of a key account in the campaign against Uber.

Examples of the apparently automated amplification of a key account in the campaign against Uber.

A frequently shared meme in the counter-offensive against the petition organised in support of Uber, in London.

A frequently shared meme in the counter-offensive against the petition organised in support of Uber, in London.

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You can also listen to this episode on Soundcloud, below.