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How to Identify Bots on Twitter

In this video, you will learn how to identify bots on Twitter.
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In this video we’re going to be going over bots, and more specifically, bots for Twitter. So there’s a lot of bots out there. So, of course, bots for Twitter. There’s also bots that have been known to be out there for helpdesk purposes. There is bots for other social media platforms. And there’s even been bots spotted for PSN and Xbox. Now, while social media bots are growing in popularity, there’s a lot of legitimate uses for them. Unfortunately, there’s also malicious uses for bots, depending on how they’re actually being leveraged. So the important question is, how do we tell if it’s a bot or a human?
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Especially if you’re trying to follow them on Twitter, or if they’re following you, and especially if they’re trying to feed you information? Are you talking to a human? Are you following a human? Or is it a bot? Now, the first programme I want to show you is called Botometer. It can be found at Botometer.iuni.iu.edu.
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Now, Botometer runs an algorithm to try to check if a person is a bot or a human. So you simply type in a username in there. And you can check the username. You can check the follower. You can check the friends.
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So in this example, I’m typing in an account. So to use it, you actually have to have a Twitter account, and to allow authorization to it. Once you have authorization to it, we could do a check username. And it goes through the algorithm to see if it’s a bot or a human. As you see here, it gives you a score on what they think it is, if they’re a bot or a human. You could check the followers. And it’ll kind of give you a breakdown of whether it’s likely a bot or likely a human. And you could see kind of those settings there. So that could be a really useful tool for finding if it’s a bot or a human.
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And while it’s not perfect, it’s mainly based off of posting habits, frequency, language, and all that. But again, it’s a pretty interesting tool to use. Again, this is Botometer. Now, the other programme we’re going to take a look at– and this is another web based tool– is Twitter Audit. And it can be found at TwitterAudit.com. And again, you simply type in the username, and you click Audit. And down below it’ll give you another scoring of whether they think it’s a human or a bot. And again, this one you’re going to have to sign in with your Twitter account. And you’re going to have to authorise it.
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But once you do, you can start typing in usernames and see if it’s a bot or a human. And we’ll get that a second to redirect. And there we go. So simply type in the Twitter username that you want to scan, and click Audit. And then once it starts pulling up, we could actually see below what the followers of that particular account are. So we’ll give that a moment to start scanning. So my account, it has a 96% likely score that I am human. So if we go down here, you can see other charts for whether they’re real or not. And also, you can sign up for the pro account if you want. So pretty interesting stuff.
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Again, between the two, it’s a couple of really interesting tools to see if your account or if another account has bots following them. And again, this one is Twitter Audit. So to wrap up, bot or not? Do they have an unusual number? Does that particular account have an unusually high number of people that they’re following? Well, that might be a bot. Unusual speech? Well, bots are getting better at their speech pattern. If they are posting seemingly random sentences, then that might be a bot. And repeated text. Bots can span the same dialogue often. So that might be another key takeaway that it might be a bot.
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But again, between the two programmes, you’re going to have a pretty good chance of identifying whether it’s a bot or a human that you’re following, or is following you. So this was about Twitter bots. In the next video we’re going to be taking a look at how to secure your email communication. Thank you for watching. I’ll see you in the next video.

In this video, you will learn how to identify bots on Twitter.

Here are some general tips on how to identify whether you are interacting with a bot:

  • do they have an unusual number of people they are following?
  • do they use unusual speech?
  • do they repeat text?

Reflect and share: Does your behaviour change when you suspect you’re interacting with a bot? What do you do? Explain your answer.

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