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Alyn Smith MP


Scottish Twitter is alive with informed discourse, and some of the best humour anywhere on the web… but how can you be sure if you’re tweeting with a bot or another Scot?

We’ve compiled this list of free tools to help, starting with a simple three step check:

Step 1: Truthy Botometer

Truthy Botometer asks you to authenticate with your twitter account, You can then give it any Twitter @username to check.
Handily they use the same colour scheme as us! Red means bot, Blue means not. Simple. Below’s an example result.
If the account you’re checking scores higher than 2, we suggest checking again using the next tool. For scores over 4, the likelihood is you’ve found a bot.

Step 2: Shiny Apps TweetBotOrNot 

With ShinyApps TweetBotOrNot you pop in a Twitter @username and it spits out a probability of it being a bot – so a higher score is worse, a low score is best. We’ve overlaid our own bot/not colours on one of their graphs below as some folk find this one confusing.
Basically if a handle scores lower than 0.5, it’s probably a person. If it scores higher than 0.5 but less than 0.7, check again using the next tool.
If it scores higher than 0.7, it’s probably a bot.

Step 3: Bot Sentinel

Still unsure if you’ve a bot on your timeline? Time for the big guns! 
Bot Sentinel’s a really powerful set of tools, we’re mainly interested in that green “check user” button – like with the others you pop in the suspect @username and it’ll spit out a nice easy to read score assessing the account’s trollworthyness. Like with BotOrNot higher scores are worse, lower are better but (unlike BotOrNot) Bot Sentinel’s results are friendly and easy to read… once you know where to click!
There lots of stuff to look at here about trending troll topics and fake news accounts too – well worth a look around!

More clever stuff…

Make Adverbs Great Again, Allegedly Tool – is this person really where they say they are? Why not check their timezone using this nifty little tool, just put in their account name and the timezone they claim (most people tweet between 5am and midnight and sleep for five hours in between.)

Luca Hammer Analysis – You need to sign in with this one, so make sure you are happy with the permissions it asks for. It gives a temporal analysis against UCT, and tells you loads of other stuff like who they interact with and what hashtags they use and news sites they share.

Securing Democracy, Hamilt 68 Dashboard – This tool shows you what is being pushed by Kremlin influence operations. It’s focused on the US but you’d be surprised how often this affects Scottish twitter too.