Bots, not all are harmful

I think bots are a kind of media or as a tool for the internet.”says Ho, who believes that bots are as harmless and useful as use is not necessarily profit-oriented:What I’m Doing With My Robot Doesn’t Feed Capitalism – go on -. On the other hand, by using bots that spread misinformation, you can make money. This is the reason they exist“.

a matter of perception

Part of the problem, Buckenham says, is that the term “bot” has a Flexible meaning. a Academic essay 2021 It shows that using three different methods to identify inauthentic behavior on Twitter leads to three very different estimates of the percentage of users involved. Buckenham says people mistake new Twitter users, who often have a string of numbers automatically assigned to their username, for fake state-sponsored accounts. “It’s a matter of bubbles Buckenham confirms And the Different people use Twitter in different ways. You may be used to meeting people who tweet similarly to yours, so when you meet others who use the service differently, they are assumed to be fake or illegitimate.“What one would consider a Russian bot designed to spread misinformation may actually be a middle-aged American mother who doesn’t bother changing her username from the default option she got upon registration.

Buckenham believes that the transition from a neutral word as it was originally “bot” to a highly meaningful term occurred in 2016, when fake accounts became the norm. bogeyman that It would have made Donald Trump win the US presidential election. The event caused the bots to be associated with a disinformation tool designed to sow discord and polarize society from a tool used by specialized communities in corners of the Internet.

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This polarization continued with quarrels Between Musk and Twitter, where bots have been presented as enemies of a harmonious platform. But it is not, as Buckenham explains: “They add serendipity and beauty to timelinesBuckenham gives an example of robots like Push Pot, which diligently publishes small fragments of Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings every few minutes. Buckenham created a similar bot, Tweet embed, which publishes landscapes in pastel colors every six hours. It is one of his most famous bots:It exists mainly because some people follow it, and of all the sad and horrible things you come across on Twitter, seeing a beautiful, relaxing landscape alienates and distracts you from all the stressful things in everyday life.“.

This article originally appeared on Wired US.

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