Social bots, or chatterbots, are software designed to communicate autonomously with humans in social networks. Often, they end up poisoning the atmosphere for the users.
The presidential election in the United States provides good examples. Republican candidate Donald Trump has over 10 million followers on Twitter. Observers estimate that about one quarter of them are in fact social bots and not humans. They warn that the automated spin doctors on Facebook and other networks amount to a threat to democracy, in particular if they are used by governments, private enterprises or interest groups.