Evaluating the Twitter Bot Problem
The Twitter bot problem addressed last week is now making huge headlines with the announcement of new guidelines. Millions of fake accounts are tweeting and retweeting to the point there is too much congestion among feeds. The social media giant noticed the bot’s usage during the election and after the most recent school shooting in Florida. Often bots falsely inflate a prominence of a hashtag or trending topic to the point that it consumes the platform.
Misuse of Bots
The Twitter bot has created the intention to broadcast platform information automatically to third parties. Through the company’s API (Application Programmable Interface) or in other words a secure way that third-party systems share data. The misuse of bots is resulting in the overwhelming spamming of the network do the same messages being sent over and over. Twitter’s new guidelines were developed to put an end to the misuse of bots.
A study conducted last year with Indiana University found bots were behind 15 percent of active Twitter accounts. Many times bots are posting as real people.
What Does the Twitter Bot Problem Mean for Third Parties?
Third party applications who automate tweets have been increasingly reevaluating their programs. Twitter will not allow users to send the same tweet in a three day period. Same goes for sending the same tweet from multiple accounts. Twitter has made the decision to even remove these options from its own popular app, TweetDeck. The new restrictions will not apply to weather alerts or any emergency announcements. All third parties must comply by the March 23rd deadline or they lose their access to the platform.
The new rules are a substantial change to the platform and it will be interesting to watch unfold. Without mass tweets and retweets maybe we will get back to real conversations between actual living persons on Twitter.