A Twitterbot is a type of software that controls a Twitter account. The software may autonomously perform actions such as tweeting, retweeting, or liking. This page gives a simple 5-step process to create your own peacebot. We have adapted much of this content from BotWiki’s excellent “How to Make a Twitter Bot: the Definitive Guide”.
STEP 1: Read our short Code of Conduct.
The automation of Twitter accounts is governed by a set of automation rules that outline proper and improper uses of automation. Proper usage includes broadcasting helpful information, automatically generating interesting or creative content, and automatically replying to users who contact you first via direct message. Improper usage includes circumventing Twitter rate limits, violating user privacy, or spamming.
By joining the Robots for Peace campaign, you agree to creating Twitter bots that…
- – Do tweet or retweet messages of peace, always using the hashtag #peaceday
– Do follow Twitters automation rules and rules and best practices
– Do not mislead users into thinking they are human; they are clearly identified as bots in the Twitter handle description or name
– Do not harass any users, post spam, or undertake any malicious activity
– Do not directly contact users (reply or mention) unless these users have initiated contact first by following, mentioning or replying to the bot
STEP 2: Decide what your bot will do!
Twitter bots can do different things, and you may want to browse some examples of what is possible. Or if you haven’t got the time for that, here are three simple ideas for a Twitter peacebot:
- – Simple broadcast bots: you decide on peace-related content you want to share, make a list of that content, and then instruct the bot to tweet from that list of content at regular intervals (we recommend no more than once every hour).
– Retweet bots based on keywords or hashtags: you find keywords or hashtags on Twitter that relate to peace or International Peace Day and instruct your bot to retweet any tweet that mentions these keywords or hashtags.
– Reply / mention bots: you instruct your bot to reply to (or mention) any user who follows them, retweets them, likes their tweets, or replies to them.
Whatever your bot does, we ask you to do one important thing: always add #peaceday to whatever your bot is tweeting or retweeting. That way, your bot is contributing to making #peaceday trend and spreading peace messages even more!
STEP 3: Set up your Twitter bot handle.
Your Twitterbot will run on its own Twitter handle. To set up a Twitter handle, you’ll need a phone number. Three options here…
- – If you don’t have a Twitter account already, you can use your own phone number
– If you do have a Twitter account, you can remove the phone number from your account and associate it with a new one
– If you want a separate phone number for your bot handle, you can sign up for Google Voice
Once you have a phone number, head over to twitter.com and follow the instructions to sign up for a new handle. You’ll want to give your bot a bit of a personality: a profile picture and a description. If you are unsure what to write in your description, here is our friendly suggestion: “I’m a robot tweeting for #peaceday. Learn more about me on peacebots.org #RobotsForPeace”
STEP 4: Write the code for your bot.
There are lots of tutorials on the web that will help you write Twitter bots.
- – NON-CODERS: If you are a beginner and don’t want to get complicated, we recommend using Cheap Bots, Done Quick, which requires no coding skills.
– CODERS: Here is a handy list of tutorials from BotWiki. If that feels overwhelming, we think a good place to start is this short list.
STEP 5: Register your bot with us.
Ok, so you have your bot and it’s ready to go! One last step: please fill out this simple form to register your bot as part of the #RobotsforPeace campaign. We’ll track it’s activity over International Peace Week, and let you know what we all manage to do with our flock of peacebots.