#SocialistTeeth trend sinks teeth into Right-wing Twitter bots
A Furry created hashtag trend, #SocialistTeeth, ended up as the top trending tag in the United States after Conservative Bots picked it up to launch criticism at the concept of Socalist policies in general. A Twitter thread by Dream Hyena shows some examples of some of these bot blunders.
However, it must be noted that some of these examples, particularly where the Tweeter just batch the trending hashtags at the end could be individuals taking advantage of the algorithm to have their non-sequitur reach a larger target audience (the Delhi tweet for instance). In that case it’s more spam than bot.
The origin of the phrase
While many furs started to use the hashtag in a manner of pride, or as an art trend, the etymology of the term “Socialist Teeth” actually came from someone a bit more critical of the ties that particular art styles had with fandom activism. The person who coined the phrase described its meaning as having an avatar with over-sized and bared teeth, normally looking down at the viewer and at times tearing into flags that support views they oppose.
Regardless, many furries started to post pictures of their fursonas flashing their canines and using the hashtag. But as more did this, Right-wing bots latched onto the socialist part of the hashtag and ignored the teeth. What resulted were multiple tweets utilizing the trending tags by bots that didn’t know what it was being used for or where it came from. Without this context it revealed, like no other tag, that they were confused bots and not human users.
Slovenia was once under #socialistteeth. Results:Total failure. Haven’t our democrats learned anything from history? Then why is it being imposed on the people? The #EnemyofThePeople call him #CreepyTrump, but we the people will not be silenced.
Many of the hashtags in the above example were ones trending in the political spheres at the time, but the bot clearly didn’t know that Socialist Teeth was not purely political in origin. One thing to note though is if you were to drop the Teeth out of the hashtag the tweet actually looks like something a human would write. This brings up an issue that many have to deal with on the online world in 2020 and beyond: interactions with artificial accounts.
Friend or Bot Buddy?
Alan Turing once wondered if Artificial Intelligence could trick a human into believing it was one of them. It is very possible to see now that they are making quite coherent sentences. And one has to wonder, how much of the online behavior of some of our fellow humans are being modified by bots writing in a particular manner? Since humans are prone to emulating other humans, it is very possible that a human could emulate a bot’s behavior if they believe it to be a fellow human.
I guess the question we need to start asking in the 21st century is who is programming who?
In this way it can be very possible to manipulate societal behavior using Artificial Intelligence. So humans are going to have to get very creative in smoking out bots. And given this situation, neologisms utilizing compound words containing words the bots are searching for may be a good way to catch them off guard and reveal their hand.
Or maybe we’re just going to have to start giving the people we interact with online some form of CAPTCHA test and that’s just what we’re going to have to do in our current day. Otherwise that lover you meet online may ghost you on your first date because they were a computer the whole time. Welcome to the future.