Tag Archives: experiment

This researcher programmed bots to fight racism on Twitter. It worked.

by Kevin Munger, Washington Post

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Echoborgs: Psychologists Bring You Face To Face With A Chat-bot

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It’s alive! What NPR learned from turning its @nprnews Twitter account from a bot into a human

Nieman Journalism Lab

During the five days of manual updating, there were 142,219 visits to NPR’s website from @nprnews tweets — a 45 percent increase from the average (98,213) of the five weeks leading up to the experiment, according to NPR’s Google Analytics data. Links tweeted by @nprnews were clicked on nearly 100,000 more times than links shared automatically the week before, information from its bit.ly account revealed. And the account gained 5,010 followers — about 14 percent more than the week before.

Lauren Katz, an NPR intern turned temp, led @nprnews during the weeklong test. The week before, she ran a smaller experiment of sorts by manually tweeting a handful of stories at night after they’d been tweeted out by the RSS feed earlier in the day. The tweets she wrote out received more engagement across the board, inspiring the longer trial. (Joseph Lichterman, Nieman Journalism Lab)

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Olivia Taters, Robot Teenager (from TLDR)

“Rob Dubbin accidentally built a teenage girl named Olivia Taters who lives on the internet. She may not always communicate in complete sentences, but she’s convincing enough that teenagers actually converse with her. Also, she’s very, very funny. PJ talks to Dubbin about how Olivia came into existence, and what she’s been talking about lately.” (TLDR via On the Media)

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Socialbots: Voices from the Fronts

Cover story of interactions magazine March/April 2012 (ACM subscription needed for full access)

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How Twitter Bots Fool You Into Thinking They Are Real People

“Researchers from the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil and the Indian Institute of Engineering and Technology released a study last month in which they programmed 120 bots with simple strategies for acquiring followers in order to look at how robots manage to pull off this deception. After a month, only 31% of the fake accounts had been suspended by Twitter, and together they had received a total of 4,999 follows from 1,952 distinct users.” (Sarah Kessler, Fast Company)

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