Social Media and its Bot Epidemic

By Vadim Dovganyuk

Bots, bots, and even more bots!
That’s actually what social media platforms are about.
Just look around you for a moment and you will see many examples of it.

To start off, which has been “the hype” these last few weeks is Twitter.
Let me be completely honest; do I have bots interacting with my account? – Yes, I do.
Do I pay for them? – Well, no.
So how come they interact with my accounts you might ask, and the answer I wouldn’t know either.
It’s one of the common mistakes of people, the belief that if you got bots interacting with your account, you necessarily paid for them.
The reality is the opposite, as anyone could use bots themselves or buy bot services, and unleash them on any online profile they want.

Yes, I say on any profile, as it’s not like there are bots on just Twitter…
Facebook, Instagram, Soundcloud, YouTube, G+, VK, Vimeo, Vine, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Spotify, Dailymotion, Periscope, ASKfm…
Just name any big social media platform, and yes, there are bots.
But not just on social media, also other means of chatting with others, like IRC and fora.
Or what about those reviews on the app stores? – Most are also by bots, or actually bought of real people, as eventually the majority of people doesn’t take the time to review apps, they just want to use them…
However, the most obvious is online video games, which is one of the foremost locations where they are undeniably annoying.
It is also why I am so used to them, as bots are literally everywhere online, there’s close to no exception.
As let’s not forget, even those bitcoin miners are bots…

It’s an often overlooked fact it seems, that bots are automated software.
And when it comes to that, there is no way of ever stopping it.
Just look at how many years the security services have fought illegal downloading without any success…
Sure, they made a lot of money by enacting all sorts of laws forbidding illegal downloading, but it still happens everywhere in this world.
Or more to the point, those malicious software, malware…
If it was able to stop software, it would have happened with those forms of software, and yet, they are still around.

Which is also the only point I want to make with this post.
Yes, bots can be annoying.
But that is also all that could be said.
A platform like Twitter has no responsibility to truly stop them, as generally they are no threat.
Eventually, you don’t have to believe everything what is said online…
However, far more important than that…
You can judge people all you want for using them, but be honest with yourself:
Have you never taken advantage of certain situations..?

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