Are you a good bot or a bad bot?
In a small step against disinformation, Twitter introduced a new feature on Thursday to let “good” bot accounts self-identify as such and receive a profile label to alert others to their kind robot status.
The initiative is meant to help distinguish AI-driven accounts which provide useful information from “spammy ones” which spread inaccurate information.
“Examples of automated accounts you might see on Twitter include bots that help you find vaccine appointments and disaster early warning systems,” Twitter wrote in a press release-like FAQ about the new bot labels. “When these accounts let you know they’re automated, you get a better understanding of their purpose when you’re interacting with them.”
The label simply consists of the word “automated account” appear on approved bot accounts’ profiles beneath their profile name and handle.
The feature is not yet widely available and currently, only a “limited number of people are participating in an invitation-only test which allows them to identify their automated accounts with this label,” the FAQ adds. But according to The Verge, all developers should be able to use the label by the end of the year.
Twitter has been considering implementing such a program for years, according to industry news site TechCrunch: During a 2018 Senate Intelligence Committee, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey conceded platform users have a “right to know” whether they are interacting with a human or a robot while on the site.
Other recent rollouts by the social media platform have included a “super follows” option which allows users to charge others $2.99, $4.99 or $9.99 per month to follow them. Only users with at least 10,000 followers who have posted at least 25 tweets in the last 30 days and have used the site for at least three months are currently able to use the feature.