Twitter tests a way for accounts to let people know they’re bots

Twitter is testing a new label that lets automated bot self-identify as such in their labels, the company has announced. The feature is designed to help help people tell human and automated accounts apart, while giving “good bots a way to increase their legitimacy and build trust and transparency with their audience,” the company wrote.

The new feature appears to be an extension of Twitter’s edict last year that high-quality bot accounts must self-identify as such. At the time, it said that developers must “clearly indicate” if an account is a bot, and also identify the person running the account. 

Examples of legitimate bot accounts cited by Twitter “include bots that help you find vaccine appointments and disaster early warning systems,” the company wrote in a FAQ on its help site. “When accounts send automated Tweets to share relevant information about content on another account, automated labels help you identify good bots from spammy ones and are all about transparency.”

The label will roll out to 500-plus developer accounts to start with, and be available to all developers “by the end of the his year.” It said that adopting the label isn’t required right now, but implied that not using it would essentially be a breach of its updated developer policy that requires the use of labels. 

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