At first glance, the Twitter user “Canaelan” looks ordinary enough. He has tweeted on everything from basketball to Taylor Swift, Tottenham Hotspur football club to the price of a KitKat. The profile shows a friendly-looking blond man with a stubbly beard and glasses who, it indicates, lives in Sheffield. The background: a winking owl.
Canaelan is, in fact, a non-human bot linked to a vast army of fake social media profiles controlled by a software designed to spread “propaganda”.