New Tech Stops the TwitterBot Plague

Bots skew metrics on social media. They spam and cost advertisers over $8 billion in fraudulent online advertising. They may even alter the course of elections by inflating opinions or spreading lies. They make the social media platform less fun for users so they drop out.

And bots are multiplying faster than Twitter can remove them. It’s an unstoppable plague. Until now.

BotAlert offers a real-time bot identification service. BotAlert has already identified 700,000 bots—more than the number of accounts Twitter is currently suspending.

BotAlert doesn’t follow the slow Twitter method of looking at individual accounts. This can take 3 days to discover a bot. In fact, when BotAlert searched Twitter it found some bots that had been active for months or longer.

BotAlert searches all tweets looking for a similarity of actions that is impossible for humans to duplicate. Only bots post at exactly the same time for exactly the same duration over and over again. BotAlert’s three step process collects activity data, identifies bot-like behavior, and then validates or proves the tweets are automated.

This new technology can find bots and report them 100 times better and faster than other current methods. It’s possible to find them faster than they can replicate, thus stopping the bot plague.

Bots Impersonate Voters to Influence Elections

Researchers at the University of Oxford tracked bot political activity around the world. They found bots:

  • Impersonating voters to exaggerate a candidate’s popularity.
  • Disseminating lies, attacking people, and poisoning conversations.
  • Infiltrating networks people go for news and information.
  • 4-7% bots on Twitter generate 60% of the traffic with automated scripts.
  • In the EU referendum of 2016 1% of the 300,000 Twitter accounts posting about Brexit were responsible for 33% of the posts showing they were automated accounts.

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Are You Tweeting a Robot?


Twitter’s 300 million active users “appear” to send about 58 million tweets per day. But Twitter believes up to 23 million of the active users may be automated bots. BotAlert seeks to identify these bots and return Twitter to a fun user experience— an experience where tweets are from friends and their questions are answered by other real-people Tweeters.

This technology can be useful for more than Twitter. Several kinds of sites are plagued by bots that sell accounts, spam inappropriate content, participate in sponsored activities, rig elections, silence activists, cheat people out of money, steal identities, or spread misinformation. It can help sites where automated bots are not welcome such as:

    Social Media Sites like Twitter
    Commenting services like Disqus
    Review systems like Google Play
    Content sharing services like Pinterest
    Forums and classifieds like Craigslist

BotAlert can:

    Help sites maintain a better user experience so users stay on longer
    Save merchants from losing billions of dollars in fraudulent advertising fees
    Keep social metrics accurate
    Reduce spamming
    Stop bot makers from gaining undue influence in elections and other world events