Twitter announced Thursday that it will begin testing a feature for identify the “good bots”. These are tags that, for now, will appear in the profile of some accounts. With this movement, the social network seeks that users quickly know if they are interacting with humans or automated programs.
“When these accounts let you know that they are automated, you get a better understanding of their purpose when you interact with them,” explains Twitter. “Tags help you identify good spam bots to provide transparency,” adds the social network in a help document.
The tagging feature for bot accounts is in a testing stage. This means that for now it will only be available to a limited number of users. Twitter is sending invitations to selected accounts. Once the profile administrator agrees, the legend “automated account” appears below your name.
Of course, the deployment of the function for the entire public is guaranteed. Twitter says “the option to add the tag” will be available to all users soon. However, the social network is still evaluating whether the adoption of this proposal will be mandatory or optional.
Twitter and its effort to ‘control’ bots
The truth is that Twitter has been fighting against some bots for years. On one side are the “bad bots” that are a headache for the social network because they tweet and retweet a large number of unsolicited messages, mention users in droves, follow and unfollow profiles.
Precisely, in 2018, the CEO of Twitter, Jack dorsey, announced a “purge” of these types of bot accounts. He himself lost 200 thousand false followers and the account of the network itself subtracted more than 7 million followers whose activity was suspicious and went against the conditions of service.
However, on the other side are the “good bots” that will start receiving the new tags. Twitter has no problem with them, since they are very useful for the users of the platform. These, for example, help find appointments for vaccines and post early warning messages for disasters or weather conditions.
Some of the first accounts to receive the bot tag will be @earthquakesSF, which provides information on earthquakes in the San Francisco Bay; @vax_progress, who tweets about COVID-19 vaccination, and @met_drawings, who shares public domain works from The Met’s department of drawings and prints.