A Socially Responsible Twitter ‘Bot
One was about a Twitter ‘bot who watches edits to Wikipedia from computers known to be used by people working for the US Congress. (It tracks the IP addresses, if you want to get all technical). And then this ‘bot publishes the results like so:
Robert Hurt (politician) Wikipedia article edited anonymously by US House of Representatives http://t.co/R4cqHa6eY6
— congress-edits (@congressedits) July 10, 2014
As of this morning, @CongressEdits has over 12,000 followers. What’s so cool about this comes in two flavors: a) it can show when politicians (or their staffs) try to alter the record to their benefit and b) the creator of this ‘bot has released it’s code to allow anyone to create a similar ‘bot. A quick glance at @CongressEdits feed shows it retweeting new bots like @phrmaedits who monitor the pharmaceutical industry’s edits of Wikipedia, @reichstagedits who monitors the German Parliament for the same actions, etc. So, totally cool.
Stopping Clickbait One Tweet At A Time
The second article was about a Twitter ‘bot whose mission is to save you from being clickbait. For those of you not familiar with these terms, clickbait is:
(Internet marketing, pejorative) Website content that is aimed at generating advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines to attract click-throughs; such headlines
(Via Wiktionary.) You know the article headline that says “Is Hurricane Oswald Going To Drown Every Man, Woman and Child in Ft. Pierce, Indiana?” just to get you to read the article? That’s clickbait. Anyhow, this Twitter ‘bot, @SavedYouAClick watches out for these clickbait articles and tweets the answers back at them. For example: and
No. He’s not wearing a shirt. RT @VanityFair: Is this a Justin Bieber nude selfie? Don’t pretend you’re not going to look to find out.
— Saved You A Click (@SavedYouAClick) July 1, 2014
Perhaps not as socially aware as the other ‘bot, but it does have over 126,000 followers.
What sort of ‘bots would help you? Let me know and we’ll see if we can build some.