Twitter can now identify automated accounts as “good bots”

Good bot, bad bot.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Apr 1, 2022

When reading through your Twitter feed, Twitter is making it easier to distinguish between good bots and bad ones. Good bot accounts will have an “automated” label added to them by the social media app, so you’ll know they’re legit. The functionality was introduced on the company’s official account, with the goal of recognizing good bots. Twitter is currently sending out the service to all users after testing it in September 2021.


According to Twitter, the “automated” label helps Twitter users identify good bots from bad ones seeing as it helps to “give you more context about who you’re interacting with.” In a blog post, Oliver Stewart described it as follows: “There are many bots on Twitter that do good things and that are helpful to people.” Bots that provide wellness information, weather updates, and COVID-19-related news, for just a few examples.



However, terrible bots, like those with political agendas, advance the selfish and hidden ambitions of the people and groups behind them. Those who come upon a bot labeled “automated” may be more inclined to trust it because the label allows for openness. Bad bots might make it appear as if they aren’t bots at all, but rather regular accounts belonging to regular people. Their goals remain secret, making it harder for consumers to spot and eliminate them. The designation “automated” makes good bots stand out.


People can link their own Twitter identities to the bot accounts they run using the “automated” designation. This creates a paper trail between tweets sent by a bot and their owner’s account. To put it another way, whenever a decent bot sends you a tweet, you’ll see the Twitter username of the person who sent it right on the tweet.


If you look at the profile of an “automatic” bot, you’ll notice that the handle of the real person who runs that bot account is linked. This allows everyone who comes across a nice bot’s tweets or Twitter profile to know that the account is maintained by a real person with good intentions.


On Twitter, it can be difficult to distinguish between good and bad bots, owing to the fact that harmful bots can be sneaky and unassuming. Often, by the time a problematic bot is discovered, it has already inflicted damage. By granting access to the Twitter account of the person controlling the bot, the “automated” designation aids good bots in being honest with users. This is significant because it enables good bots to build trust with Twitter users.


In case you missed it, Tweet Takes is Twitter’s new video reactions to tweets.


Photo via Twitter