WhatsApp Coronavirus Chatbot is Working Now After a Rocky Launch

The Covid-19 advice chatbot available on WhatsApp went live yesterday, but it had a few hiccups. If you had issues and gave up trying to communicate with it, it's stopped its bullshit now, and is working as intended. Read More >>

The UK Government Just Enabled a WhatsApp Chatbot to Offer Coronavirus Advice

The government has never really had a good relationship with WhatsApp. It's encrypted end-to-end, naturally, and various iterations of our government have spent years trying to disable it so our messages can be snooped on. But now the government is taking advantage of the service's ubiquity, with a brand new chatbot designed to help people learn more about the coronavirus pandemic. Read More >>

climate change
A Quarter of All Climate Tweets Come From Bots – and They’re More Likely to Peddle Denial

The bots are taking over, man. Researchers have found that bots are largely fuelling climate denial propaganda on Twitter. Read More >>

social media
Social Media Companies Aren’t Even Close to Fixing Their Bot Problem, Report Finds

Researchers with the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence released a report last week showing that – shocker! – it remains as easy as ever to buy followers and engagement on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Read More >>

I Want That on a T-Shirt

Artists on Twitter say that their work is regularly stolen by armies of bots that generate t-shirts from popular designs – and they’ve got the receipts to prove it. Read More >>

AI Bot is the First to Play StarCraft II at the Grandmaster Level

Computer scientists at DeepMind have developed an artificially intelligent bot capable of defeating the world’s best players at StarCraft II, the popular real-time strategy video game. Read More >>

Taylor Swift Threatened Legal Action against Microsoft over Racist and Genocidal Chatbot Tay

Taylor Swift tried to block Microsoft from using the moniker Tay to a chatbot that turned into a depraved racist troll vessel, according to a new book from Microsoft President Brad Smith. Read More >>

Facebook Is Suing Four Chinese Companies for Allegedly Selling Fake Accounts

Facebook is suing four companies and three individuals based in China it alleges have been creating and “promoting the sale of fake accounts, likes and followers” on Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, as well as other social media sites, the company announced on Friday. In addition to the alleged efforts to create fraudulent accounts, Facebook said the companies infringed on its trademarks and engaged in domain squatting. Read More >>

Twitter Rolls Out Feature to Report Bots, Also Anyone You Think Is a Bot

Twitter has rolled out another feature intended to cut down on spam and misinformation efforts – adding suspected bots, malicious links, and spammy hashtags to the “suspicious or spam” category users can choose when reporting violations of its terms of service. Read More >>

Twitter is Suspending More Than One Million Accounts Per Day in Latest Purge

Apparently sick of being criticised by everyone from US Congress to Seth Rogan for not doing enough to purge its platform of bots, trolls, and malicious foreign actors, Twitter has started liberally dropping the ban hammer on suspicious accounts, suspending more than 70 million users over the course of May and June. Read More >>

giz asks
How Many Social Media Users Are Real People?

Most social media users know that bot accounts are among us, whether as fake voters with loud opinions or obsessive re-tweeters of a single corporation’s content. When it comes to telling many ‘fake’ accounts from real ones, however—or just knowing how many non-individuals are active online—even savvy users are mostly in the dark. Read More >>

fake news
Gigantic Study of Fake News Online Finds the Enemy Is Humanity

Over the last year, “fake news” has gone from being a niche concern that charlatans exploited for profit, to a code red existential threat to the fabric of society—or something in between. But our scientific understanding of how and why false stories spread is still limited. Researchers at MIT are diving in to correct that blind spot and for anyone looking to point a finger, we have some bad news. Read More >>

Fake Health News Can Damage Your Real Health

Research into the weird world of fictional news spread online by bots has found that it could have a negative effect on the health of the more gullible readers, with fake health news and reports suckering some people in with their wicked lies. Read More >>

An Amazon Bot Is Making the Greatest Smartphone Cases 

In what’s either the best art project, the best business move, or both, someone has made what I assume is a bot that’s churning out thousands of unique iPhone cases for sale on Amazon. Pretty much all of them are masterpieces. Read More >>

The BBC’s New Doctor Who Bot Lets You Play Companion

It seems that Skype chatbots are the new in thing in TV circles: not long after Heston Blumenthal got his own chefbot, the BBC has announced they've made one for Doctor Who. Read More >>