An experiment that labels bot accounts has been added to Twitter’s long list of ongoing tests, letting other users know their posts are generated by a computer and not manually posted by a human being, as previously. Bots aren’t all bad, of course; they can, for example, be used to automatically share data from NASA missions or provide users with real-time weather information.
The simplest way to describe a Twitter bot is that it is a piece of software written by someone who wants to share a variety of information with the Twitter community. The majority of the time, these bot accounts aren’t a problem.
What's a bot and what's not? We're making it easier to identify #GoodBots and their automated Tweets with new labels.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 9, 2021
Starting today, we’re testing these labels to give you more context about who you're interacting with on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/gnN5jVU3pp
Understanding the nature of a bot’s communication and how to engage with it will help you better understand it. That’s where Twitter’s new account labels come in. In addition to a robot-shaped icon, the social media company has shared screenshots of how this new identifier looks.
During the testing period, Twitter explains in its FAQ that these labels will increase transparency and make it clear which are good bots and which are spambots. Currently, only a small number of users have been invited to participate in the label test.
It is possible that someone with an automated account will be asked to label it as their own so that it can be identified. A label will appear on the bot’s account, letting users know the posts are automated and who’s behind it.