I run lots of automated Twitter accounts - "bots" in common parlance. But there's no way for people to know that these are automated accounts.
This leads to slightly odd situations where people try to have conversations with them.
It sure looks like a shade of purple to me. 🤔
— 🇺🇸 Elections Matter 🇺🇸 (@waaaaahat) August 24, 2021
In a recent blog post - Rethinking Twitter Verification - I mused that it would be great if Twitter let you mark specific accounts as robots.
if I were in charge (which I'm not) there would be various types of ticks.
🤖 is a bot
🆔 proved their legal identity
🏭 is run by a brand
⚖ is run by a government department
👮 Official law enforcement
And so on.
— Terence Eden (@edent) June 13, 2020
Well! That day is finally here! Some of my bots are now officially marked as such!
This is, as I understand it, a beta test. We'll see how users and developers react to this.
What Is It Like to Be a
Automated accounts - where a human user isn't manually generating all the replies - are incredibly popular. People follow their local train line to find out about delays, or follow bots which Tweet the weather, or who won the sportball. Do those bots only give automated information? Do people expect to be able to have a conversation with them? Do they dream of electronic sheep?
Follow my bots
Here are my bots which have been given the Twitter bot logo:
A bot which lets you know the flood risk for the coming days (England and Wales only)
— UK Flood Forecast (@FloodForecast) September 8, 2021
My Solar Panels
At sunset every day, you'll get a graph of how much electricity our roof has generated
Today I generated 15.07kWh of solar electricity. pic.twitter.com/usamopXqB1
— Edent's Solar Panels (@Edent_Solar) September 6, 2021
Very occasionally, we get small earthquakes in the UK. This lets you know when they happen
— UK Earthquakes (@UK_Quakes) July 2, 2021
A very silly bot which gives you a random colour to brighten your day
— Colours by @edent (@RGB_Colours) September 9, 2021
Our crowd-sourced psychogeography project Tweets every time a photo of a memorial bench is uploaded.
IN MEMORY OF THE LATE
COUNCILIOR H. J. B. (BEN) WATKINS OBE
PRESENTED BY THE LABOUR MOVEMENT THROUGHOUT WALES IN RECOGNITION OF
HIS OUTSTANDING PUBLIC SERVICEhttps://t.co/Qh1yuLLEu1
CC BY-SA 4.0
℅ @StroudieDr pic.twitter.com/PlrbiuUSWt
— OpenBenches.org (@openbenches) September 9, 2021