Twitter Bots’ Quick-Change Profiles


Tracking Twitter bots over time can be immensely informative. One of the more interesting traits I’ve witnessed while documenting low-level model bots is interchangeable profiles. Effectively, each account grants the bot creators the ability to quick-change the fake accounts to whatever purpose they are needed.

Twitter Bot Quick-Change Examples

Bot Example 1

Twitter bot Victoria quick-changed over the course of just one week. Victoria became “Jamesmith,” took out the background picture, and changed the profile description.

Bot Example 2

This fake account started off as a Bitcoin bot but turned into a prototypical “romance bot.” Notice that the name, profile picture, and background picture stayed the same.

Bot Example 3

This Twitter bot quick-changed from a prototypical “romance bot” to a full-blown MAGA bot.

Bot Example 4

This “romance bot” kept its profile description but quick-changed its name, profile picture, and took out the background picture over the course of a month.

Bot Example 5

This bot, which says it is located in Ghana, dropped the model from the profile picture, opting for a car instead.

Bot Example 6

And this locked bot switched models and the background picture while retaining the odd name.

The Twitter bot quick-changes make sense if you consider that bots are simply shells. They are fake identities formatted to do whatever the bot creator intends for them to do.

The ease with which these fake accounts change identities to further deceive real users brings several questions to my mind. One such question is: how does a multi-billion dollar company like Twitter, with its fancy algorithms, miss this type of activity on the platform?

Written by Virginia Murr

Updated Sept. 2019

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Author: Virginia Murr