Bot Spotting - Seriously

If you have opinions, and you have "proof," better check your sources!


Here is a detailed method of spotting bot tweets; twelve techniques:

The trick in some cases is finding the non-human number of tweets.

@BlackManTrump, a hyperactive account, posted 89,944 tweets between August 28, 2016 and December 19, 2016 (see archive here), an average of 789 posts per day.

The account @sunneversets100, an amplifier of pro-Kremlin messaging, was created on November 14, 2016. On August 28, 2017, it was 288 days old. In that period, it posted 203,197 tweets (again, the exact figure can be found by hovering the mouse over the “Tweets” entry).

Watch for "Amplification"
When a fake news story gets re-tweeted a bunch, you might think "Gee, it must be true. I see it everywhere."
You are the victim of classic BIG LIE propaganda technique in the social media world. Remember, the Russians are the world leaders in weaponized propaganda. Just think about their enormous "bot farms."
Russian bot farm. This goes on for MILES

Don't let the tricky machines make you believe someone on the other side of the aisle just insulted you for your opinion, or someone else sends you something that confirms a suspicion you've been feeling, or makes hateful noises at something you already hate, or ANY of that stuff, look thrice. See if the comment or news story or rumor looks like a bot looks. Suspect every word. The Russians are coming, no WAIT, the Russians are here!

BOTtom Line:  Stay alert, Citizens!

p.s. It's not just Twitter. Bots are on Facebook, Instagram, Reddit... etc.
... and for "comments" sections, Katy bar the door.

Other good Spot-a-Bot info:



Richard B. said…
Scooter, have you considered how the bot name calling is crippling debate online? I'm noticing it more and more. Could there be a negative side to botphobia? You give good advice to spot a bot, but many will pass judgement without doing anything to vet the opposition. What say you?
Richard Bayless said…
Hey Richard!
Great old debating tactic, dehumanization.
Richard, re your first comment:
I've conjured the "HATE-BOD" to characterize the actual human who acts like a hatebot.
One of the most dreadful results of HATEBOTS is the model they represent for people to emulate.
If labeling either a bot or a bot-emulating human de-humanizes a commenter, it is pretty much quid-pro-quo.
I'm thinking you disagree, so back to you.

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