Reference: A Few Tips on How to Spot a Twitter Bot
Twitter bots and botnets sparked much discussion in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. With the midterm elections rapidly approaching, we ask: What is a Twitter bot? How can you detect what’s real and what’s not?
Some typical characteristics of bots on Twitter include:
- Many Twitter bots have a relatively recent creation date.
- Many bot user names contain numbers, which can indicate automatic name generation.
- The account primarily retweets content, rather than tweeting original content.
- The account’s tweet frequency is higher than a human user could feasibly achieve.
- The account may have a high number of followers and also be following a lot of accounts; conversely, some bot accounts are identifiable because they send a lot of tweets but only have a few followers.
- Many bots tweet the same content as other users at roughly the same time.
- Short replies to other tweets can also indicate automated behavior.
- There is often no biography, or indeed a photo, associated with bot Twitter accounts.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.