Reading coverage on the RNC? It might be coming from bots

net neutrality donald trump rushkoff internet 10
Jamelle Bouie/Flickr
The Republican National Convention already seems to have solidified its position as the most dramatic political event in recent memory — and yes, that’s saying a lot. From accusations of plagiarism to a speaker lineup that reads more like a who’s who of reality television than the American political system, there’s a lot to cover at the 2016 RNC. And at both the Washington Post and Buzzfeed, some of that coverage is coming from bots.

While the two publications may seem like rather dissimilar outlets with disparate readerships, both seem to have recognized the value in utilizing bot technology to cover the highly buzzed-about convention. The Washington Post’s bot will work with Twitter and Double Robotics, to provide a live stream of the goings-on in Cleveland by way of Periscope. Moreover, readers (or rather, viewers) will be able to ask questions about the convention through a Periscope chat.

“We’re excited to experiment with a new way to bring Post readers into the convention action, giving them an on-the-ground perspective as if they were there themselves,” said Jeremy Gilbert, Director of Strategic Initiatives for The Washington Post.

Niketa Patel, News Partnerships Manager at Twitter, added, “Viewers across the globe will be able to see the sights and sounds that convention-goers & delegates will be experiencing first-hand. By combining live-streaming from Periscope with on-the-ground storytelling and interaction, this will no doubt be the beginning of this robot’s memorable journey.”

As for Buzzfeed, the online media company is introducing “a really cool little news bot” called BuzzBot. Promising to gather rather than push news (or actually, do both), the machine will “tag along with everyone, all the time, everywhere they go.”

Said Buzzfeed about their bot, “It’s not only going to tell you funny, interesting, and insightful stuff (although it will). It’s also going to ask questions. Those queries may be different, depending on whether you’re a convention-goer, a protester, or watching along at home. And it will use those reactions and inbound information to inform BuzzFeed News’ reporting.” And because the BuzzBot is open-source, you may one day be able to use the bot in other venues for other events. And here’s how you can get and use it.

Social Media

Tumblr bans nudity to create ‘a safe place for creative expression’

Tumblr will soon no longer allow images with adult content. The company says the change is one that's designed to help more creators feel comfortable sharing on the platform, but admits the change won't happen overnight.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Gaming

Everything you need to know about The Game Awards 2018, including big reveals

The Game Awards returns to Los Angeles for its fifth show this December. Here is everything we know about the event, including its location, where you can watch it, and games that were nominated.
Social Media

Members can share the same Story with Facebook’s new Group Stories

Facebook Group members can now view and share Group Stories. Unlike the Stories for an individual user, the new tool allows members to contribute to the same Group Story, if the feature isn't turned off by an admin.
Social Media

You can now share saved Facebook posts with a Pinterest-like collection tool

Facebook collections can now be shared with friends if you also want to allow them to contribute to the list. Facebook is rolling out an update that allows users to add a contributor to their collections, or lists of saved Facebook posts.
Mobile

Broadway actor tells Kanye West to get off his phone during opening night

Theater actors can get understandably upset when they spot someone in the audience fiddling with their phone instead of watching the show. The other night that audience member was Kanye West, and he got called out for it.
Social Media

This event topped Facebook’s biggest moments of the year — again

As the year comes to a close, Facebook is looking back on what users discussed most over the last year. For two years in a row, International Women's Day topped the list. So what else is on the list?
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Home Theater

It took Tom Cruise to raise awareness of this troublesome TV setting

Tom Cruise, in an unexpected PSA tweet, asks you to turn off motion interpolation on your TV, but stops short of how to do it. Here's more on the topic, along with links to a guide on how to rid your TV of the dreaded "soap opera effect."
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Business

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.