Twitter Bots David Cameron

Twitter admits 23m worldwide users are bot accounts


By John McCarthy | Opinion editor

August 12, 2014 | 3 min read

Twitter has admitted that it has detected around 23 million automated accounts posting content without human input, raising questions for advertisers about how effective their campaigns really are.

Twitter is keen to have as many human accounts a possible

Agencies heavily engaged in promoting on the site are likely to be unhappy to hear that 8.5 per cent of the site's 270 million active users, are bots.

Ads targeted at human accounts will instead be pointlessly reaching bot accounts, which can spam the social media site with malware and trending updates.

The site’s vendetta against spam last year saw retired archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Twitter account incorrectly blocked last year during a routine clear-out of accounts.

Spam, according to Twitter, is a variety of prohibited behaviours including “posting harmful links”, “mass following and unfollowing”, “abusing the ‘@’ to harass other users”, “creating multiple accounts - manually or automated” or “posting links with unrelated tweets”.

Furthermore, the site, which sees 500 million tweets everyday, urges users to report spam messages and the accounts behind them.

The social network still permits bots accounts as there are situations where such tools have been of aid to users. Twitter cited the Ohio school account below as an example of useful bot as it automatically updates users on school delays and closures.

Twitter, keen on stamping out rule-breaching bots last year, sued spam tool TweetAdder for breaching the social network's term and conditions, in addition to flooding the site with automated content.

This comes after David Cameron’s prime ministerial account was found to be following thousands of bots and deactivated accounts, including an account called ‘I Like Tits Daily’.

Twitter Bots David Cameron

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