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The 8 best Twitter bots you aren’t following

Twitter has a spambot problem, as basically any user of Twitter can tell you. These fake accounts are often just worthless throwaway handles designed to help desperate users trump up their follower counts, or brands with dubious ethics promote their products. So normally when you think bot, you think “annoyance.” 

Bots often degrade the user experience and they weaken Twitter’s legitimacy.

But just as a broken clock is right twice a day, sometimes bots can deliver golden nuggests of Twitter genius amid their pleas to click on weight loss links. Most people already know about the genius that is @horse_ebooks, but there are a few other bots that deserve accolades, not shade.

Newest favorite bot: @anagramaton

If you like anagrams, this IS the bot that you’re looking for. Anagramaton scours Twitter for tweets that are anagrams of each other (they use all of the same letters in unique phrases). Here are some fun recent examples:


The most incredulous bot: @BDZNappa

People who make bots often have dubious motivations. But Daniel Lo Nigro, the creator of @BDZNappa, made his bot simply to illustrate how a “search and reply” bot could work. And according to his blog post, this kind of bot “could easily be extended to do more useful things.” But for now, bask in the amusing Twitter conversations that his bot spurs. It plays off a famous phrase from Dragon Ball Z, but even if you have no idea what a dragon ball is, the account is still entertaining. Every time anyone on Twitter uses the phrase “over 9000,” Lo Nigro’s bot replies “WHAT!? NINE THOUSAND?” And people use the phrase quite frequently.

 Some users already know about the bot but play along with it anyways:


The brilliant @kanyejordan

The premise of this bot is simple: Kanye West is a lot like Tracy Jordan, the beloved kook played by Tracy Morgan on 30 Rock. So much so that if you simply put the words “Liz Lemon” in front of Kanye’s tweets, they seem like they came right off of Tina Fey’s scripts.

 Unfortunately, Kanye hasn’t been tweeting his mind as much these days, so you may have to look further back to find gems like this:


The bots with a message: @yesyoureracist and @yesyouresexist

Rule of thumb: if someone says “I’m not racist, but…” chances are extremely high that they’re about to spit some racist BS. With that in mind, Logan James Smith created @yesyoureracist, which re-tweets users that use that phrase or the hashtag #notracist. That most of the stuff the bot ends up re-tweeting is vile bile only proves the bot’s point.

And @yesyoureracist spawned @yesyouresexist, which makes a similar point, but about sexism instead of racism. @yesyouresexist isn’t nearly as popular yet as the original, but that should change, because people are saying some profoundly stupid stuff.


The bot with the maturity level of your 10-year-old brother: @fartrobot

Perhaps the goofiest of all bots, @fartrobot trawls Twitter for mentions of farts. That’s really all it does.


The bot any English instructor would love: @stealthmountain

Okay, you might not want to go out of your way to follow Stealth Mountain, but at least appreciate what it’s trying to accomplish. This bot has a single objective: Tell people on Twitter when they spell “sneak peek” wrong. Disturbingly, this bot has worked its magic over 330,000 times, suggesting that we really need to pay more attention in school.

Sometimes people are gracious:

Other times, not so much:

Also, please note that the above user name is “twerk for Canada.”


Most useful bot for avoiding earthquakes: EQBOT

(aka @earthquakesSF, @earthquakesLA, and @earthquakeBot)

EQBOT is actually a collection of Twitter handles along the fault lines in California, although there’s also a global version. If you’re the type of person who constantly checks Twitter and you live in an earthquake-prone area, these are smart bots to follow.

 I’m sure there are plenty more non-garbage bots I’m missing, so feel free to let me know what I overlooked in the comments.

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