"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza. "The ones you can see over there", answered his master, "with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long". "Now look, your grace", said Sancho, "what you see over there aren't giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone". "Obviously", replied Don Quixote, "you don't know much about adventures".
Don Quixote's faithful servant may not have understood much about adventures, but the recently concluded US presidential election and Brexit referendum taught the world just how much it did not know about the difference between giants and windmills. In the course of two unprecedentedly vicious campaigns, we learned that a high percentage of internet commentary, in particular in the Twittersphere, was being generated not by human beings but by bots, software programs designed to respond automatically and with enthusiasm or derision to human opinions. In combination with the so-called "fake news" generated by both commercial and sovereign national entities, we have entered a new phase in communications and community (Miller, 2017).