You followed my bot! Transforming robots into influential users in Twitter

  • Johnnatan Messias Federal University of Ouro Preto
  • Lucas Schmidt Federal University of Ouro Preto
  • Ricardo Oliveira Federal University of Ouro Preto
  • Fabrício Benevenuto Federal University of Minas Gerais
Keywords: Twitter, influence, bots, klout

Abstract

Systems that classify influential users in social networks have been used frequently and are referenced in scientific papers and in the media as an ideal standard of evaluation of influence in the Twitter social network. We consider such systems of evaluation to be complex and subjective, and we therefore suspect that they are vulnerable and easy to manipulate. Based on this, we performed experiments and analysis of two systems for ranking influence: Klout and Twitalyzer. We created simple robots capable of interacting by means of Twitter accounts, and we measured how influent they were. Our results show that it is possible to become influential through simple strategies. This suggests that the systems do not have ideal means to measure and classify influence.
Published
2013-06-19
How to Cite
Messias, J., Schmidt, L., Oliveira, R., & Benevenuto, F. (2013). You followed my bot! Transforming robots into influential users in Twitter. First Monday, 18(7). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v18i7.4217