Tales from the Spambots - Humanoid Twitterbots

Ah, the Twitters! A veritable playground of internet robots, who generated 24% of all Twitter content even way back in 2009. These robots are constantly trolling for humans with whom they might connect--to sell products, or perhaps event learn how to feel. In fact, your editor-in-chief has noticed--through volid investigations on Twitter--that the old twitterbots version 1.0 (which had obviously machine-generated profiles and would merely tweet hyperlinks at you) have been replaced by a second variety. These new bots have full profiles and tweet sentence-like messages that don't necessarily include hyperlinks to buy Nikes or Armani dresses or just incoherent nonsense. They're so much like us, and yet, something is not quite right. Let's take a look:

Gary Michael, the infuriatingly humble explorer of Kodiak, Alaska (population: 6130) seems to be alright at first glance. We at the Volidity Report are also avowed readers, web geeks, travel nerds, and the [very proud] practitioners of alcohol.
We then proceed to Richard Clinton (aka "Clinton_Richard"), another Alaskan from the great city of Wasilla. Superior to the common travel nerd, Richard is a passionate travel guru. Though perhaps he was communicating by IRC as a child, "Lifelong internet specialist" makes me begin to suspect that he was born and raised on The Grid instead of in Wasilla...
Yes, when I think of introverted gamers, Mrs. Mae Cheryl of Clovis, New Mexico is who comes to mind. As a "hardcore entrepreneur" (is that just a euphemism for "porn producer"???), "zombie expert", and "food ninja" Mae is a either a true renaissance woman or a robot.

Perhaps the common thread with all of these profiles is a set of nouns (lover, practitioner, entrepreneur, guru, specialist, practitioner, -aholic, nerd, geek, fanatic, enthusiast, advocate) and adjectives (devoted, hardcore, unapologetic, lifelong, infuriatingly humble, wannabe) that are recombined for the verisimilitude of a profile. The random nature of this computerized Mad Libs leads to self-descriptors like "Incurable bacon scholar" and my doubts about their humanity. But if the profiles follow this pattern, then what about the tweets themselves?

Oh. Well then. It's just the same formula, repeated forever. Though your editor-in-chief is fairly certain that he has met some wannabe thinkers who were also unapologetic advocates of Twitter and practitioners of hipster-friendly food in North Brooklyn, these tweets still reveal the fundamentally artificial nature of the user. Wait--you have something to say, Gary Michael?

Oh no! Gary "liked" a YouTube video of someone playing Minecraft via an über-haxor? We're doomed! If the machines can mimic human traits in our society, then it really will turn out like Battlestar Galactica or Terminator. Your editor-in-chief, however, is a survivor--if the machines can blend in with us, then he will blend in with the machines.


  1. No matter what flag Mississippi adopts blacks will find something oppressive and racist with it...whine bitch and moan....

    1. Watch out @cherylheidi55--looks like we have another "Wannabe thinker" over here!