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

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

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

SearchSecurity

  • evil maid attack

    An evil maid attack is a security exploit that targets a computing device that has been shut down and left unattended.  An evil ...

  • Common Body of Knowledge (CBK)

    In security, Common Body of Knowledge (CBK) is a comprehensive framework of all the relevant subjects a security professional ...

  • rootkit

    A rootkit is a program or, more often, a collection of software tools that gives a threat actor remote access to and control over...

SearchHealthIT

  • value-based healthcare

    Value-based healthcare, also known as value-based care, is a payment model that rewards healthcare providers for providing ...

  • health informatics

    Health informatics is the practice of acquiring, studying and managing health data and applying medical concepts in conjunction ...

  • clinical trial

    A clinical trial, also known as a clinical research study, is a protocol to evaluate the effects and efficacy of experimental ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

  • crisis management plan (CMP)

    A crisis management plan (CMP) is a document that outlines the processes an organization will use to respond to a critical ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close