back to article Cat saves 'good bots' from Twitter API purge

File the decision to withdraw free access to its API under "Twitter doing dumb things" because owner Elon Musk has partially walked back on it mere days later. Last month, third-party Twitter clients suddenly stopped functioning without explanation. This caused the death of numerous projects, including the popular Twitterific …

  1. nintendoeats Silver badge

    This heavily pushes me in the "no idea what he is doing" direction. It would have taken...seconds...to see that this type of case is affected. If he didn't care that's one thing, but the fact that he changed his mind suggests that he DOES care. So either we are upgrading from 5D chess to 6D chess, or he really isn't thinking through any of his decisions.

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Agreed. He's rudderless.

      1. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Fixed It For You.

        Article says, "Musk's relationship with bots is weird."

        Should be, "Musk's relationship with the truth is weird."

    2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      It’s zero-dimensional chess, and Twitler still doesn't get the point.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        That's a first class slam. I don't even care if there is any truth in it or not--but there certainly is...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is Musk who got fired from PayPal for insisting the whole tech stack should migrate from Linux to Windows. Of course the Fail Whale doesn't know what he's doing.

    4. doublelayer Silver badge

      But Musk is a genius. Only someone like him could manage to make the only car company to have full self driving, and think of how cool Spacex is, and if you don't know what he's doing then that just proves that he's smarter than you, and if there's no obvious reason for a very public announcement then it means he's hiding the secret plan to prevent the haters from messing with it, and if he breaks Twitter then that's his plan to get rid of all the problems with it before he brings it back, and anyone who has more money than you must be better than you which is why I've put all my money into Tesla shares, and look at how big that company is compared to the other places that make cars, which definitely doesn't have anything to do with the item before this in the list.

      Sorry, the inexplicable fans will be here soon to start explaining why something that looks stupid isn't stupid, so I figured I could save them some time trotting out the classics.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only reason I use Twitter

    ... is for the Blake's 7 bot: https://twitter.com/blakes7bot

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only reason I use Twitter

      Ace Attorney Court Bot.

      Musk's free write-only API won't be enough to keep the court bot going but it'll be good enough for botfarms to continue spamming. What an absolute genius.

  3. Howard Sway Silver badge

    An account that posts images and videos each time a cat returns home. Is that "good content"?

    Compared to most of what is posted on Twitter, I would say that is "good content".

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: An account that posts images and videos each time a cat returns home. Is that "good content"?

      Hell, even if it were a webcam that tweeted a photo of the litter tray 60 seconds after the last motion detection event ended it would be better than most of Twitter.

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Re: An account that posts images and videos each time a cat returns home. Is that "good content"?

        That's getting too close to Stinky Musk's own tweets to differentiate...

        ... but probably more consistent.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: An account that posts images and videos each time a cat returns home. Is that "good content"?

          At least the decisions might have a firmer consistency.

      2. zuckzuckgo

        Re: An account that posts images and videos each time a cat returns home. Is that "good content"?

        > ...that tweeted a photo of the litter tray...

        Surely we would then have to rename it Shitter.

        That also seems to be where Musk is heading with it.

        1. Lil Endian Silver badge

          Re: An account that posts images and videos each time a cat returns home. Is that "good content"?

          Shitter! Why wait Shirley!

  4. Luiz Abdala
    Pint

    Daemons?

    Oh, you could run daemons on Twitter? Neat.

    The quake warning bot thing looked interesting.

    Perhaps somebody should put one up when the Metacritic score from gamers for a new game is above 9.0 and it has no microtransactions.

    1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: Daemons?

      Musk would somehow try to make sure you pay a microtransaction to follow it.

    2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Re: Daemons?

      What's the point of an account that never posts anything?

  5. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Cat saves 'good bots' from Twitter API purrrge

    So he's getting a fee line to bring in some cash?

    1. Lil Endian Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Cat saves 'good bots' from Twitter API purrrge

      Ken, please paws before we invest in the alt tabby.

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Cat saves 'good bots' from Twitter API purrrge

        Claw blimey with the puns.

        1. Lil Endian Silver badge

          Re: Cat saves 'good bots' from Twitter API purrrge

          I reckon I could whisker 'nother one up. I ain't lion.

          I. Can't. Stop! Please show meow!

          1. Korev Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Cat saves 'good bots' from Twitter API purrrge

            What a sordid tail...

            1. Lil Endian Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Cat saves 'good bots' from Twitter API purrrge

              I thin kit's a catastrophe fur sure.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cat saves 'good bots' from Twitter API purrrge

      He's still perrrfecting his strategy.

      Maybe Musk is just a bunch of cats stuffed into a Elon costume? Like and Edgar suit.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elon Musk has finally found the limits of billionaire power.

    He can get away with most anything, but if he touches one whisker of cat content...

  7. Len
    Facepalm

    I still don't understand why he insists all read-only access to Twitter should be blocked too. Even reading from your own Twitter feed.

    Countless people and businesses will now have to remove their Twitter feed from their own site, greatly reducing Twitter's exposure to non-Twitter users. Not long now and Musk is going to ban sign-ups...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Musk's Mastodon promotion is the gift that keeps on giving

    First he pushed the journalists, then he pushed the scientists, then he pushed the apps and clients, and now Musk has pushed the bots to move from Twitter to Mastodon.

    You'd start to think that Musk has shares in Mastodon.

    1. zuckzuckgo

      Re: Musk's Mastodon promotion is the gift that keeps on giving

      >You'd start to think that Musk has shares in Mastodon.

      DON'T give him ideas!

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Musk's Mastodon promotion is the gift that keeps on giving

        On the contrary, encourage him. He can buy as many shares as he likes in Mastodon. It won't give him any control.

  9. Adrian 4

    some bots can die

    Does that mean the bots that give you a summarised copy of concatenated posts will die ?

    It's not so much their function that's irritating but the multiple requests that get visibly posted to them in any long thread.

    I don't really know why twitter retains the short posting limit. The workarounds are far more annoying than long tweets would be.

    1. Not Yb Bronze badge

      Re: some bots can die

      I block as many of those thread-copying bots as I can, most of them monetize the content they just took from someone else.

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Boffin

    Fake bot accounts?

    Is a fake bot a human?

    1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: Fake bot accounts?

      I think it's one of these

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Fake bot accounts?

        Classic!

  11. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Big Brother

    the state of the man's timeline

    Am I the only one who read that as 'lifeline'?

  12. prandeamus

    Entertainment twitterbots

    Can I recommend, for entertainment value

    @midsomerplots Generates plots for episodes of Midsomer Murders

    @taskmaster_ai Generates random but often disturbingly plausible tasks for Taskmaster. It occasionally lapses into the book of common prayer for inspiration.

    Get em while you can

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Entertainment twitterbots

      Midsomerplots is also on Mastodon: https://mastodon.cloud/@midsomerplots

  13. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Are those really the best examples?

    The (short) list in that blog post linked in the article is rather underwhelming, in my opinion. Sure, the earthquake one is maybe useful for some folks (ObXKCD). Some of the others look like niche entertainment, which is fine, but hardly compelling.

    But ... a Twitter bot to remind you to drink water? Hell, why not one to remind you to breathe? How friggin' incompetent can someone be that they have any real need for that? "Self-care" my ass – that's learned helplessness. "BigTechAlert follows all the Twitter activity of the world's biggest tech companies and CEOs" – well, that's hardly something someone could do on their own, possibly from more-reliable sources, eh?

    I heartily agree that Musk was being a right jackass with the API restrictions, and my sympathies are with people who use Twitter bots for something useful. This is not a list that makes me think of the Library of Alexandria, though.

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