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Bot-hunting Twitter bot sniffs out bogus political tweets

Bot-hunting Twitter bot sniffs out bogus political tweets
From TechCrunch - October 25, 2017

If youve ever wondered if the hashtag heavy, politically far afield Twitter user youre about to eviscerate in 140 characters is totally delusional or merely not quite sentient, well, wonder no more.

On Wenesday, Quartz just launched a handy Twitter bot known as @probabot_ to sort so much automated chaff from Twitters proverbial fields of wheat. Probabot identifies political tweets and then analyzes them using something called the Botometer, a tool developed by the Indiana University Network Science Institute and the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research.

The latter project lets users analyze Twitter accounts with machine learning to see the probability of if an account is automated. Accounts can also fall into the category of bot-assisted which suggests a combination of bot-style autopilot and human intervention.

Using the Botometer API, Probabot scans accounts on potential axes of botliness, including when they tweet, if the content of their tweets is positive or negative in sentiment, who they tag in their tweets and how often, and who else is in their network. Probabot creatorKeith Collins explained to TechCrunch how his bot is programmed to avoid false positives through things like avoiding verified users and organization accounts, which sometimes express some bot-like behavior. As Collins explained, accounts that are rated above 48% by the Botometer are flagged as potential bots, while anything over 60% rates as a likely bot.

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