Friday, October 13, 2017

@twooshbot is dead. Long live @twoosh_bot!

My twooshbot account got permanently suspended from Twitter for "violent threats". Yes, seriously.

So, I created a new, kinder, gentler Twitter account.

Here's why I think it was suspended:
Sometimes, twooshbot would respond with movie quotes.  Some of those quotes were of the Emperor Palpatine trying to get Luke to come to the Dark Side of the Force.  In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke doesn't respond in violence. Instead, he realizes what's happening, lets go of his anger, and refuses to fight except to defend himself (and his sister).  That's how I wanted these responses to be perceived.  A gentle, humorous reminder to keep it cool.

Of course, if you have no idea what this twooshbot thing is, and some random bot account jumps into your heated conversation telling someone to give in to their anger and strike you down with it, you report it to Twitter, and they respond with the perma-banhammer.

I tried appealing to Twitter Support, hoping that if I removed the offending content, they would restore the account, but they refused to budge.  They even froze the phone number I used to activate the twooshbot account, so I had to use a different phone number to create an app to connect to the new account.

Here are the responses that twoosh_bot will no longer say (a few of them are from Firefly):
  • The hate is swelling in you [reply user name] is unarmed.🌌Give in to your anger!⚔
  • Your hate has made you powerful! Use it! Strike [reply user name] down with it. πŸŒŒπŸŒ‘⚔
  • Use your aggressive feelings, [user name]. Let the hate flow through you! πŸŒŒπŸŒ‘
  • Wonderful girl! πŸ”«πŸ‘¨ Either I'm going to kill her or I'm beginning to like her. πŸ‘ΈπŸŒ‘πŸŒŒ
  • Maybe you would like it back in your cell, your highness? πŸ‘ΈπŸ”«πŸ‘¨πŸŒ‘πŸ—‘πŸŒŒ
  • Also? I can kill you with my brain. πŸŒŒπŸ‘§πŸ§ 
  • Ah, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal! πŸ¦– Har har har! Mine is an evil laugh! πŸ¦• Now die! 🌌
  • You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once🌌If I ever kill you you'll be awake, you'll be facing me & you'll be armed
These were a very small fraction of the hundreds of responses that twooshbot would post.

So, that's how I got banned.  It sucked.  I'll try not to do that again.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

SheikahMemories: A New Twitter Bot


@SheikahMemories
When I first started playing Breath of the Wild on the Nintendo Switch, there was an account that would (intermittently) retweet all of the pictures posted by players.  Actually it was simpler than that.  It would retweet everything with media and the #BreathoftheWild hashtag.  It caught a bunch of re-posts and other junk, but it also captured people's cosplay pictures and fan art.

I used to have a column dedicated to this account on my Fenix Twitter app, and I would scroll through the screenshots and other content, and enjoy the community of like-minded fans.

Recently, that account has gone away, or rather it has been renamed and repurposed to retweet Nintendo Switch posts, regardless of the game.  These days, that means almost exclusively Splatoon 2, which is fine, but that's not what I'm in to right now.

So, after contacting the developer to see if they would reinstate the functionality (and receiving a negative reply), I thought, "Well, I already have a Twitter bot, this should be easy."

I haven't written the bot yet, but I've created the @SheikahMemories account.
  • UPDATE 2017-09-02: I have now written the bot!  It took about four hours to strip down and adapt the existing twooshbot framework to the new behavior.

Note: I've since replaced the Twitter list following the account with a saved search for the #BreathoftheWild hashtag, but not everyone uses an app that can do that, and once I had the idea, It got legs of its own and I'm kind of excited to implement it, whether or not it's strictly necessary.

Monday, June 20, 2016

twooshbot: How To Get Banned

Over the past few weeks, there have been several users that I have had to ban from using @twooshbot.  I created an internal list of users that the bot simply won't respond to.  If you want to know what constitutes acceptable behavior, this page might be useful.

Some of the bannings were the obvious: bots posting automated spam.

Since using @twooshbot grants you one additional follower, plus the occasional quote-retweet and mention, apparently some bot operators thought it was worth the effort to go through the initialization process.

I created @twooshbot for real people, with their real (usually personal) Twitter account, who type real tweets, and enjoy putting in the extra effort to make what they have to say fit, or expand it slightly to fill the available space.

Here's what it isn't for:
  • Posting porn (someone actually did this. They are blocked.)
  • Posting repetitive and/or excessive tweets
  • Excessive trolling of other Twitter users
  • Other bots.  I don't want to get into an auto-response loop. Or create Skynet.
  • Anything else I don't like (Yeah, I'm the judge, jury, and executioner. Deal with it, or appeal nicely to the magistrate--also me--for a pardon.)

Sometimes there's a fine line between a spam account and a politically-active user.  Usually the difference is the quantity and the quality of the posts.  If the posts are all unique, original, and occasional, I figure you're a real person, or close enough that I don't care.

There are a lot of opinions on Twitter.  Many of them I disagree with, but I'm not going to ban someone for disagreeing with me.

Trolling is a sensitive issue, since when you reply to or quote another user, there's a chance that @twooshbot will mention them in the response.  These responses are meant to be playful, and not to be perceived as ganging up on the other user.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

twooshbot: I made a thing!

Do you enjoy Twitter?  Yes?  Good.  But are you winning?

Yes, "winning."  Does someone give you prizes and congratulate you when you do it awesomely?

Well, at least for a given definition of winning, I have something for you.  I created a bot that responds to your tweets when you use all 140 characters.  (Because, really, nothing says quality quite like quantity.)

Step 1 (optional): Follow @twooshbot.
Step 2: Tweet at @twooshbot and include the word "start" in your tweet.
Step 3: @twooshbot will follow you, and reply to you to confirm.
Step 4: You're all set!  Just tweet using all available characters.  You are awesome!
Step 5: If you feel like showing off your awesomeness, you can retweet one of @twooshbot's tweets to make it visible to all of your adoring followers.  They will be impressed.

More info here: https://bit.ly/twooshbot

If you want to stop being congratulated for your twitter awesomeness, and go back to filling the tweet buffer in obscurity, you can tweet at @twooshbot again with the word "stop".

Let me know how you like it.