Skip to main content

Twitter wants to make it easier to spot ‘good’ bot accounts

Twitter is testing a feature that would allow automated accounts to identify as such, giving users more information about the nature of the account that they follow or are considering following.

The microblogging company announced the feature in a tweet on Thursday, September 9, and also added information about it to its Help Center.

The label includes a bot symbol and the word “automated” and appears on the account’s profile and each of its tweets.

What's a bot and what's not? We're making it easier to identify #GoodBots and their automated Tweets with new labels.

Starting today, we’re testing these labels to give you more context about who you're interacting with on Twitter.

— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 9, 2021

“When these accounts let you know they’re automated, you get a better understanding of their purpose when you’re interacting with them,” Twitter said.

Broadly speaking, automated accounts, commonly known as bots, come in two flavors: Those that provide misinformation, and those that don’t.

Twitter continues to remove numerous bot accounts tweeting misinformation, but it’s an ongoing fight. The new feature will not only help you to identify the good bots, but will also make clear that the content is posted by a bot, not a human.

Examples of accounts operated by good bots include those that are linked to disaster early warning systems or ones that help you find vaccine appointments. But they can also be more fun like Jon Sondow’s Emoji Aquarium that every few hours automatically tweets “a tiny aquarium with interesting fish.” Sondow already points out in Emoji Aquarium’s profile that the account is automated.

During the test phase, Twitter is operating an invitation-only program that allows selected accounts to use the special label to identify as automated.

It’s worth noting that as this is a test, there’s a chance Twitter could drop the feature if it deems it ineffective. But if users respond positively, Twitter will likely roll it out — or possibly a tweaked version of it — to all users before too long.

In another test revealed this week, Twitter is looking at ways to fill more of the smartphone screen with photos and videos when they appear in the timeline.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
This Twitter vulnerability may have revealed owners of burner accounts
Twitter app on the OnePlus 10T.

Twitter recently announced the existence of a security vulnerability that poses a particular risk for anonymous and pseudonymous Twitter accounts.

On Friday, the popular social media platform published a blog statement describing the nature of the security vulnerability, which, if exploited, could let someone send contact information (phone numbers, email addresses) to Twitter's systems, which would then "tell the person what Twitter account the submitted email addresses or phone number are associated with, if any." Essentially, with this bug, if you had someone's contact information, you could use it to figure out which accounts on Twitter were theirs.

Read more
The most followed Twitter accounts
Twitter logo in white stacked on top of a blue stylized background with the Twitter logo repeating in shades of blue.

Ever wondered which accounts on Twitter have the most followers? As you might have guessed, Twitter's top 10 most followed accounts are a group that includes celebrities (of various fields) and political figures. But which ones exactly? You'll have to keep reading to find out!

Note: Our top 10 list of the most followed Twitter accounts only reflects the top 10 most followed active Twitter accounts. We did not include suspended or deleted Twitter accounts in our rankings. Our rankings below are based on Social Blade's findings and on the most current follower counts listed on each Twitter account's profile page, as of July 2022.
10. Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) -- 77.4 million followers

Read more
Elon Musk threatens to abandon Twitter acquisition over spam bot data
A digital image of Elon Musk in front of a stylized background with the Twitter logo repeating.

Elon Musk had already put his acquisition of Twitter on hold in May so he could review the bird app's fake and spam account data. But now the Tesla CEO has made his threat to pull out of the deal entirely official.

On Monday, via a letter addressed to Twitter's Chief Legal Officer Vijaya Gadde and made publicly available on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website, Musk accused Twitter of not complying with the terms of their merger agreement and then reminded everyone that he still has the right to drop the acquisition and "terminate the merger agreement" as a result of Twitter's non-compliance.

Read more