A Russian state television channels has been exposed using bots to pose as audience members on social media during its flagship news shows.
Channel One talk show “Vremya Pokazhet” launched its latest digital drive in June, promising viewers that their messages could be featured on screen if they tweeted during the show. 
But an investigation by Russia’s Vedomosti newspaper revealed many of the tweets which appeared during the show were produced by computer-run accounts referred to as bots.
Vedomosti scrutinized 40 Twitter accounts featured on the program on Friday, June 30. The outlet found that most had only been created in June and exclusively messaged the “Vremya Pokazhet” account, either complimenting the show’s hosts or criticizing guests.
Reporters also scrutinized the first 100 followers of the “Vremya Pokazhet” Twitter account, which is followed by approximately 9,600 users.
They found that more than half were also likely to be bots: accounts which were registered less than …