Twitter Bot Pranks Gullible People with Hilariously Fake Facts

As Abraham Lincoln famously said, “The problem with quotes from the internet is that they’re often fake.” The internet is littered with falsehoods that spread quickly because they can be easily retweeted or reposted with a couple of mouse clicks. To my shame, I’ve been occasionally suckered by them.*

There are widely-followed Twitter accounts, such as @HistoryInPics and @HistoricalPics, that have been accused of taking manipulated photos and passing them off as real or adding wildly inaccurate captions. Rebecca Onion of Slate described the problems that these Twitter accounts pose here.

Eric Drass, an artist, agrees. There’s a problem with images that are unsourced or fake images circulating the internet, becoming facts in the minds of people who don’t know any better. To highlight the problem, he created @factbot1, a program that automatically generates random facts, finds relevant images, then tweets them.

-via 22 Words

*One of the hardest research projects I’ve ever had was, oddly enough, the 2013 Neatorama Desk Calendar. It’s filled with 365 bits of interesting trivia. I found that the majority of neat trivia that I uncovered didn’t stand up to fact-checking.


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