Browse Definitions:
Definition

socialbot

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A socialbot is a software program that simulates human behavior in automated interactions on social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter

As a rule, socialbots are designed to pass the Turing test: They're sophisticated enough to fool other users and be taken for a human. To do so, socialbots use artificial intelligence (AI), text mining and data analysis software. Some have access to databases of general knowledge information and current events to allow them to recognize references and craft more convincing messages. 

Socialbots are usually programmed to interact as a human does, following relatively normal sleep/wake cycles and sending messages on a somewhat randomized schedule rather than at regular intervals. Twitter is the most common platform for socialbots (see: Twitterbot) because the microblogging format is well-suited to the software's capabilities.

Most socialbots are created for a specific purpose, such as marketing, political campaigning or public relations. Researchers from the Federal University of Ouro Preto in Brazil created a socialbot they called Carina Santos for a journalistic Twitter account. By the time the researchers revealed that the popular account was a socialbot, the faux journalist outranked Oprah Winfrey on Twitalyzer, an influence-rating website.

The capacity of socialbots to wield influence could enable them to sway voters, mount political attacks or overwhelm dissent, among many other possibilities. Socialbots can also pose a security risk. In 2011, for example, a socialbot network stole gigabytes of user data from Facebook.

According to some estimates, up to 65 percent of the average Twitter account's followers are actually bots of one type or another. 

This was last updated in September 2013

Continue Reading About socialbot

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • computer exploit

    A computer exploit, or exploit, is an attack on a computer system, especially one that takes advantage of a particular ...

  • cyberwarfare

    Cyberwarfare is computer- or network-based conflict involving politically motivated attacks by a nation-state on another ...

  • insider threat

    Insider threat is a generic term for a threat to an organization's security or data that comes from within.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

SearchStorage

  • OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder)

    OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder) is open source software designed to create and manage a service that provides persistent data ...

  • SATA Express (SATAe)

    SATA Express (SATAe or Serial ATA Express) is a bus interface to connect storage devices to a computer motherboard, supporting ...

  • DIMM (dual in-line memory module)

    A DIMM (dual in-line memory module) is the standard memory card used in servers and PCs.

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid flash array

    A hybrid flash array is a solid-state storage system that contains a mix of flash memory drives and hard disk drives.

  • 3D XPoint

    3D XPoint is memory storage technology jointly developed by Intel and Micron Technology Inc.

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • Google Cloud Storage

    Google Cloud Storage is an enterprise public cloud storage platform that can house large unstructured data sets.

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

Close