Twitter bots – robots that interact with humans – have a long history. The Twitter API is fairly easy to use (I made a bot that plays Zork with a friend two years ago) and there is little protection against creating new accounts automatically. This ease of use used to be great for programmers but now Twitter has a huge bot problem.
Bots have expanded beyond the traditional tactics. One older site recommended creating a bot network to “get a database together of all your competitors.”