Over the past few days, TechCrunch, The Guardian, and others have been writing with some amusement about the inexplicable and rather silly little army of Amazon bot-drones that have sprung up on Twitter. Assuming they don’t get deleted in a fit of embarrassment, you should be able to find those accounts here. The questions that sprang up across various media sources ranged from, “Is this elaborate counter-marketing?” to “Are these people really… real?”
That latter question naturally caught my full attention, so I decided to spend my Saturday afternoon addressing two research questions:
- Are these tweets really being sent by a bunch of unique people?
- Or are these all synthetic identities that are the work of a PR company employee or two?