bots

Twitter Admits It Verified Fake Accounts – While Banning Conservatives

Twitter has admitted it added its verification checkmark, meant to ensure the public that an account is authentic, to a number of fake accounts run by bots. The platform’s shoddy verifications come after the blacklisting of high profile conservatives such as James O’Keefe, who before his banning was refused verification by the platform despite a constant flow of fake accounts mimicking him to confuse the public.

Twitter Chairman and Square CEO Jack Dorsey moderates a panel discussion with Detroit entrepreneurs at Techonomy Detroit at Wayne State University September 17, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. The topic of the discussion was 'Turbocharging Detroit's Teconomy.' (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Wikipedia-linked Dictionary of Madagascar’s National Language Full of Bot-Generated Errors

An audit of the Wikipedia-affiliated dictionary Wiktionary for the Malagasy language, the national language of Madagascar, found the site to be littered with errors. The errors were attributed to bots mostly programmed by the site’s sole active administrator, which mass-produced almost all six million entries included on the Malagasy Wiktionary. Noting the problems were too comprehensive to be resolved manually, the audit recommended deleting most entries on the site.

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia

L.A. Times Tweets, then Deletes, Fake Earthquake Report

The Los Angeles Times tweeted a warning Wednesday evening that a massive 6.8-magnitude earthquake had struck the region at Isla Vista, California. A short time late, it retracted and deleted the tweet, explaining that an automated program, or “bot,” had tweeted out the details of an earthquake that had indeed struck Isla Vista — in 1925.

David Moir / Reuters

Report: 48 Million Twitter Accounts Are Bots

A study released last week by the University of Southern California and Indiana University claims that as many as 48 million Twitter accounts are bots. The study used more than 1,000 different features to find and identify bot accounts across Twitter.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images