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In this June 18, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures as he speaks in Las Vegas. Trump's campaign is cycling $6 million into his companies through use of his properties; meanwhile, Trump has been on an urgent fundraising quest.  (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Pro-Trump Twitter bots outnumber pro-Clinton ones 7 to 1. Here's why that matters.

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It's no surprise that there are Twitter bots that support Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Twitter has had automated accounts for years.

But the Oxford University Project on Computational Propaganda found that Trump bots outnumbered Clinton bots 7 to 1.

More than one-third of pro-Trump tweets between the first and second debates were bot-generated, while one-fifth of pro-Clinton tweets came from bots.

Breaking down the numbers

The Oxford paper defines "highly automated" bots as those that tweet at least 50 times a day about a given topic.

To be fair, that's a number humans can achieve with some effort.

Accounts like that totaled nearly one-quarter of all Twitter traffic during the final debate.

Here's a likely pro-Trump bot. It's among the first to reply to all his tweets.

Why this matters

Campaign managers often use social media traffic to gauge how the campaign is going and where to direct their efforts. But Twitter doesn't distinguish between bot retweets and human retweets.

And Trump, who has long insisted the election is rigged against him, has often said that social media and the size of his rallies shows a more accurate picture of how much support he has.

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