This bot expertly baits Internet imbeciles into losing arguments
By Caitlin Dewey The Washington Post
Published Oct. 10, 2016
Civic discourse has skidded into what we might politely term a "rough spot." So much as mention the election or trans bathrooms or Black Lives Matter and you're in for an argument.
But next time you're watching your cousin's Facebook wall devolve into a flame war, or bravely facing the constant cable news onslaught, please remember that matters could always get worse: On Twitter there are people arguing with bots.
Those bots -- slyly named @good_opinions and @opinions_good -- are the work of Nora Reed, an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based activist and artist. For the past three months, both have been tweeting bland, vaguely liberal opinions like "feminism is good" or "I think Donald Trump is awful," and then firing off one of 18 canned responses to anyone who questions them. (Reed, needless to say, is a progressive activist -- but one imagines the results would be much the same if someone on the other side deployed bots to troll progressives.)
Those responses include "wow," "your (sic) wrong" and "Google it" -- otherwise known as the holy trinity of Internet rhetoric. And while they're not particularly sophisticated or provocative arguments, a lot of people are ... arguing back at them.
"The project was inspired largely by the responses to my other bots and my experiences with Twitter in general," Reed said. "What I've noticed about these people -- both the ones who talk to my bots and the ones who talk to me -- is that none of them are really interested in conversation. They have preconceptions about people who mention the topics that they're searching for and canned arguments that they want to use, and they're just looking for an opportunity to spew those at strangers."...
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1016/dewey101016.php3#P7WgfXXigCIQMvSH.99