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What the Robot Reporter learned from 10,000 news tweets

In January 2015 I put together a simple twitterbot called Robot Reporter. The idea was to see if I could keep track of breaking news by monitoring Twitter for the journalists who use it as a way to find images of newsworthy events. It works a little like this. Something happens, and a user photographs it: Fire […]

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How To: Write a RTing Twitter bot in PHP

File this one under “stuff I’ve been meaning to look up for ages”: yesterday I finally sat down and wrote a Twitter-bot. You know the kind – a dedicated account that looks for updates containing a certain word or phrase, then retweets them – I often end up being tweeted by @redscarebot, for example. Anyhow, […]

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When bad news makes money, making up bad news is good business

The other day a message scrolled past in my Twitter feed: Which made me think: if the sea off Fukushima really were boiling, I’m pretty sure we would have heard about it. Except if there were some sort of amazing cover-up, in which case why would NHK (which is, essentially, the Japanese BBC) be showing […]

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How to remove “Who to follow” from Twitter

Twitter’s new “Who to follow” thing is as dumb as a bag of rocks. Here’s how to remove it from Firefox in ten easy steps: Go here and install the Stylish Firefox extension. Restart when prompted. Click tools, then Add-ons. Click the new User Styles tab Click “Write new style” Give it the name Twitter_WTF, […]

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Crushing predictability

Further to my bitter ramblings about the way that every news event is followed by crap articles explaining how Twitter saved the day, yesterday evening a plane ditched in the Hudson river. Today, with crushing predictability, we get the Twangles – first from The Guardian (check out the headline) then from the BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones, […]

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Copyright 2019 Tom Royal