The Desperation of a Liberal MP? The Russian spambots.

Greg Hunt has resorted or is at least is supported by an army of spambots who retweet his tweets. Could it be that he cannot find real people on twitter that like what he says? Who knows. We know the Libs or supporters do run other Spam Bots like LaborDirt. Here is a breakdown of just 1 LNP tweet.

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  1. Update 1: Since publishing this story earlier, I have put together a growing list of LNP Bots here: 
     https://twitter.com/geeksrulz/greg-hunt-bots/members 
    Also at last count 19 January 2013, there were about 40 genuine retweets out of 175 in total for this tweet. The Bots are tweeting via an app or platform called "The People's Voice". Has anyone heard of this? Contact me @geeksrulz on Twitter.
  2. Update 2: I tweeted a link last night to my storify feature is.gd/3r9Xj1 to @GregHuntMP for comment. No response so far. 
  3. Update 3: Since shining a light on this single tweet by Greg Hunt, the retweets have jumped to 192. They are by real LNP supporters who are possibly coming to Greg Hunt's rescue to even up the ratio between spambots and real people.

    Update 4: It appears that Twitter has finally acted and they have suspended the spambots that were identified.With friends like these, who needs enemies.

    Update 5: Henk Luf is threatening to sue me for using his name in this feature. (Oops just did it again.) I have threatened to sue him back if he keeps using my name in his political tweets. Please go to the special Henk Luf section below if you can be bothered. See, spambots are missing out on all the fun that real people have :)
  4. Update 6: Finally a response from Greg Hunt via @bennpackham. Greg Hunt says he hasn't got the technical skills to pull off such a ruse. Fair point. I wonder how he managed to get his website up and running.
  5. Politics 2.0: Opposition frontbencher Greg Hunt has been accusedof using foreign spam bots to retweet his Twitter missives far and wide. We couldn't raise Hunt to respond this morning.
  6. Below is a screenshot of the 170 or so mostly automated retweets received by the Honourable Greg Hunt MP. While I was putting this little feature together it jumped from 130 to 170. 
  7. These twitter spam bot accounts are usually set up and run with a script that generates the avatar, bio and first few tweets from random twitter accounts to make them seem legit with Twitter. Below is a good background article and primer on Twitter Spambots.

    The most sophisticated spammers create hundreds or thousands of fake accounts through networks of servers usable for this purpose (typically proxies or bot networks/infected computers), each account tweeting human-like content that is fully or partially auto-generated. Instead of typical spam, these are fake accounts, created and run by bots (computer software) that appear to be real people—but are completely fake.  http://blog.tweetsmarter.com/twitter-spam/how-the-spammers-are-taking-over-twitter/ 
  8. Here is Mr Greg Hunt Nr 1 FAN in the World. Einiona tweeting as @munumihij from London. He/She says they're a certified food junkie, and a Professional zombie fanatic. Account created on the 14th December 2012. Only 1 tweet. The tweet by Greg Hunt above. It was retweeted by 170 or so other Spam Bot friends.
  9. New Spam Bots created on or around the 15 December 2012

  10. Characteristics of the Twitter accounts are: UK locations, zombie or student or Internet related bios. They have generally zero followers and follows and only 1-5 tweets. The spambots in question all have unique names (a requirement) but have non pronounceable handles following this pattern:     
  11. Other than the Greg Hunt tweet that links all these bots together, they also retweeted the following LNP supporter tweets:
  12. 26 RETWEETS 12 Favourites from the usual spam bot suspects.
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