Botcheck.me: a plugin that predicts whether a Twitter user is a bot


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/31/botcheck-me.html


#2

Lots of people are somewhere on the bot spectrum.

I wonder of any bots will be tweaked to score better?


#3

Why does this have to be a plugin? Twitter is so often done from a client or mobile device. Why not a website where you just type in the twitter name?

ETA: It is a website. It’s a “Twitter App” which really isn’t a plugin.


#4

I miss our exiled twitter bot master.


#5

But if twitter gets rid of the bots that’s going to leave like 40, tops.


#6

Every account on twitter is a bot except you.


#7

There is a chrome extension in addition to the web interface:

I’m not installing it, but from screenshots it looks like all it does is put a link next to twitter names that brings you to the web interface.

It irritates me that it requires you to login through twitter to do any checks. I’d understand if you wanted to check private accounts you are friends with, but they don’t need this kind of access to most twitter accounts. I wonder what they do with your friend’s list once they have a copy of it.


#8

I’m not a robot. You’re the robot.


#9

Nice try, robot.


#10

Bhat… said it was possible the account was run by a human, but the ability to DM doesn’t prove it. It could easily be one of many accounts using a tool like TweetDeck to allow a human behind the bot to spring to life when summoned by a DM.

Dungeon Master?


#11

What??? No firefox extension?

Joking aside. Great job with this. These kids are going to go on to kick some major ass.


#12

Playing around with their plugin now. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. It found a few potential bots for me. And others that I thought might be bots, weren’t. I want to know how they trained this thing.

ETA— Here’s an explanation.

In order to get more data (without putting in hours on hours on manual human labor classifying each individual account), we added these accounts’ followers of these high-confidence bot accounts (and applied a few simple heuristics as a filter) in our bot training set.

This does make me wonder if their training set will bias the results towards political accounts of a certain persuasion. Even so, it’s a good start.


#13

I am quite sure he is around, here or elsewhere.


#14

[whynotboth.gif]


#15

Pretty sure everyone on Earth is a bot except me.


#16

FILED UNDER THINGS BOTS SAY


#17

I run a bot that is sort of political. It doesn’t think it’s a bot.


#18

You gave it false memories, pictures of a family that it never had?


#19

You, sir, win the internets today.


#20

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