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

SearchSecurity

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

  • password

    A password is an unspaced sequence of characters used to determine that a computer user requesting access to a computer system is...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

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

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • RAID (redundant array of independent disks)

    RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a way of storing the same data in different places on multiple hard disks to ...

  • data migration

    Data migration is the process of transferring data between data storage systems, data formats or computer systems.

  • compact disc (CD)

    A compact disc is a portable storage medium that can be used for recording, storing and playing back audio, video and other data ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • NVMe (non-volatile memory express)

    NVMe (non-volatile memory express) is a host controller interface and storage protocol to enable a solid-state drive to use the ...

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

SearchCloudStorage

  • 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 ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close