Twitter Experiments With Labels for Bot Accounts

Though for the moment the test is by invitation only and strictly voluntary

In an attempt to make "automated accounts" easier to identify, Twitter has begun testing a new account-labeling feature.

Twitter's goal is to make it easier for you to know when you might be interacting with a bot account, but (at least for the moment) the test is invitation-only. According to the test's information page, "...automated labels help you identify good bots from spammy ones and are all about transparency."

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Automated account labels, in practice, are meant to clearly show that a given account is automated (aka a "bot" account). When activated, the the words "automated account" will appear under the account's profile name and handle on its profile page. However, you still have to either check the profile page or, on desktop, put your cursor over the name to see this label.

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Currently any automated accounts that are invited to take part in the test will need to accept the invitation for the labels to appear. While invitation-only participation makes sense because this is still a test, it's unclear if other accounts will still have to accept the label in the future. If so, then once these labels go public they will likely only affect verified or popular automated accounts, while throwaway bot accounts could remain un-flagged.

There's currently no specified date for when automated account labels will finish testing and become a set feature. It could be in a few months or it could be sometime in 2022, but Twitter hasn't stated one way or the other. Regardless, if these labels remain opt-in, they may not be as useful as Twitter is anticipating.

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