Not all Twitter bots are bad – they just need clear labels

Twitter now requires developers to label their bot accounts as such. (AFP pic)

SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter has updated and simplified their Developer Policy. Now all bots, even “high-quality” bots that provide positive experiences for users, need to be clearly labeled as such.

This week, in addition to revising its Developer Policy to be easier for developers to understand and follow, Twitter also added a few new rules including one that requires people to label bot accounts “so it’s easier for everyone on Twitter to know what’s a bot – and what’s not.”

In fact, not only must these accounts be “clearly indicated” as bots, but also the user must state in their profile or bio that they are operating a bot-powered account, which account that is and who is responsible for said bot.

Accompanying this change to the policy, other considerable updates include the allowance of academic researchers to use the Twitter API without a commercial research purpose.

Likewise, researchers can “share an unlimited number of Tweet IDs and/or User IDs if they are doing so on behalf of an academic institution and for the sole purpose of non-commercial research.”

Also, considering that no use case is exactly the same, Twitter states that they will work more with their developer community to offer guidance on how to update their project so that it remains compliant with changing regulations.

All changes went into effect Tuesday.