Have you ever fought with someone online before and eventually found out that it was actually just a bot? Over time, it’s becoming more difficult to identify bots on various social media sites.
Regardless of what people might say, the sure-fire way to defeat these bots certainly isn’t arguing with them. You should realize that they are just fabricated and that they are designed to manipulate people and to stir conversations in accordance with the creator’s agendas, both known and unknown.
Prevalence of Bots
Nowadays, it is quite impossible not to come across some bots while surfing online; they are everywhere and you can’t escape them. Kidding aside, it is true that numerous bots can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now, these are just three of the social media giants that are popular today.
Some bots are clearly there to rile up the public and influence them to support certain efforts and agenda, while others don’t have such clear purpose. Of course, every bot is different from the other with their goal varying from each other, but did you know that there are indicative signs that many bots share.
Spotting Bots on Social Media
In order to prevent yourself and others from being tricked by bots, here are some tips on how to spot social media bots and determine an account’s authenticity:
First things first, examine the account’s bio or profile. Try to assess if the account in question really does belong to a real person. Typically, bots use recycled photos on the Internet as their profile picture since their creator wouldn’t dare to use his or her own photo in creating these fake accounts.
Another thing you should consider is the account’s history. For instance, you can probably tell an account in Twitter is fake because of the unusual behavior or activity of a bot. It might constantly be retweeting as a way of promoting other bot accounts.
Now. what’s really neat about Twitter is its bot-checking tool that would prove to be a big help to people who don’t have time to dig through the history of every suspicious account they find. The tool will give the user a detailed report that determines whether an account is automated or not.
What to do About It
So, now that you’ve finally had an idea how to spot a bot when you encounter it, what would be the next step?
Of course, seeing past the deceit and lies is the most important step, but another crucial step here is knowing what to do when you do identify a bot.
Since not everybody has the time or sometimes even the inclination to thoroughly go through every suspicious account online, taking measures to protect other internet users is vital. Most social media today have a reporting method that flags suspicious and spam accounts. You should keep in mind that some social media will sometimes not do anything about your concern; it does happen, but you should know that it is still important that you are taking steps to stop it.
Ultimately, you should always remember this: realizing that there are bots out there to trick you actually take away their power to do so. And so you can always just mute or block any account that you deem suspicious, right after you’ve reported it, that is.