Twitter bots have been in the new again this time Elon Musk has been questioning the area around the sample size proving that only five in one hundred are bots.
What are bots?
Bots in the sense for twitter are fake profiles, these can be compromised individuals or full servers managing and creating bots. This allows the individual to have access to hundreds possibly thousands of accounts without most users knowing they arent real people.
What is the risk?
The main risk is integrity of the service in the case of twitter having possibly a large potion of its userbase being illegitimate is a issue for the business. Pubic opinion can be swayed or seen in a way that isnt 100% factual as the bots can be asserting an opinion of their controller to help an agenda. Harvesting data or contacting users with illicit means can also be a risk caused by bots.
How do you spot a bot?
Posting bots often post a lot and with schedules this means if you suspect a user is a bot you should check their profile. Anonymity bots aim to be unidentifiable this can be in the form of their profile being a set of numbers or generic images used for their profile. Amplification bots often have a goal in mind and it is often to share an opinion overwhelmingly or promote certain companies or products a large string of retweets with a lack of posting does point to it being a bot.
What can you do about bots?
First of all restrict access to your profile this is good practice for any social media. Following this generally not believing everything you see and running a similar mind set to zero trust.
Last weeks article is available here.