Mar. 2nd, 2017

verushka70: I took this photo of a waterfall at dusk in Olympic National Park in 2009. (waterfall)
A friend sent me the link to this fascinating article ("Even good bots fight" on PLoS One) on bot behavior from Oxford researchers. I had no idea how embedded online bot activity is. The sheer volume of their activity is almost frightening: responsible for some 24% of Tweets in 2009; 54% of online ad campaigns in 2012 and 2013 were viewed by bots (which I'm sure advertisers didn't take into account, lol).

From the intro to the PLoS article:
"...bots have been responsible for an increasingly larger proportion of activities on the Web. For example, one study found that 25% of all messages on Yahoo! chat over a period of three months in 2007 were sent by spam bots [9]. Another study discovered that 32% of all tweets made by the most active Twitter users in 2009 were generated by bots [10], meaning that bots were responsible for an estimated 24% of all tweets [11]. Further, researchers estimated that bots comprise between 4% and 7% of the avatars on the virtual world Second Life in 2009 [12].

A media analytics company found that 54% of the online ads shown in thousands of ad campaigns in 2012 and 2013 were viewed by bots, rather than humans [13]. According to an online security company, bots accounted for 48.5% of website visits in 2015 [14]. Also in 2015, 100,000 accounts on the multi-player online game World of Warcraft (about 1% of all accounts) were banned for using bots [15]. And in the same year, a database leak revealed that more than 70,000 “female” bots sent more than 20 million messages on the cheater dating site Ashley Madison [16]. "

And you thought all they did was spam you with Viagra, foreign pharmacy, and upfront-fee phishing scams!
more about bot behavior, including culturally distinct online environment bot behavior )

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