How to spot a bot on social media (part two)

How to spot a bot on social media (part two)

It's easy to get duped into it, but we can help you be more prepared...

How to spot a bot on social media (part two)
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When it comes to using social media, there are a host of things that are missed by the naked eye.

Sometimes what seems to be real, can be an illusion, and our minds are not able to tell the difference. Because we are built to trust and conform. So something that looks innocent and trustworthy to us may in fact be a disguise for something that aims to deceive us. 

Which brings us to the topic of bots.

If you didn't already know, a bot is the short form reference of a robot. A bot comments on Facebook and their purpose to serve social media users with information. 

However, not all bots have good intentions. You have good bots and bad bots, telling them apart is the important takeaway here. 

"Good bots may automatically share news, or weather forecasts, as well as earthquake alerts or satellite images on social media. Bad bots, in contrast, are designed to imitate genuine human activity to advance a certain agenda. Depending on the algorithm, such computer programs may compose and publish social media posts or comments, follow others, or even send out friendship requests." (MSN)

In short, bad bots can potentially rub people up the wrong way. They can distort reality and share false information, which essentially can leave people misinformed and acting out of emotion. 

"Recently, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University analyzed over 200 million Tweets sent out in 2020 discussing coronavirus or COVID-19. They came to a worrying conclusion: 82% of the top 50 influential retweeters were bots; likewise 62% of the top 1,000 retweeters." (MSN)

Spotting a bot is very similar to spotting a fake account. You can look at the account name - names that appear mumbled or with a combination of letters and numbers can be a bot. Check the profile picture; is there one and if so, is it low quality? This could be another giveaway that you are dealing with a bot.

The bio of the account is non-descriptive and the account is fairly new. Also refer to their followers, if there is a large following and hardly anyone following them then that's a red flag. Also observe their online behaviour. 

"Does the account post countless crude replies in a very short time, or constantly retweet content? If the answer is yes, you are most likely dealing with a bot." (MSN)

For more from East Coast Radio

If you are not sure then follow your instincts, you will be surprised what your intuition can do for you. Basically if it doesn't feel right, don't interact...

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