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These Twitter Bot Owners Refuse To Pay Elon Musk

BuzzFeed CyberS

These Twitter Bot Owners Refuse To Pay Elon Musk

One of the most popular bots on Twitter is @MakeItAQuote, which has more than 565,000 followers. You can reply to any tweet and tag @MakeItAQuote, and the bot will respond with the tweet’s text overlaid onto an image, creating some funny results. But now, the fun may be over, as Twitter is making a change that could effectively kill off all free bots. 

Twitter just announced that starting next week, it “will no longer support free access” to its application programming interface, the trove of data that bots like @MakeItAQuote need to use in order to reply, search for text, and produce automated tweets. 

While this seems like a good step toward cracking down on annoying or spammy bots (and making Twitter some much-needed money), it has a hugely unfortunate side effect: It will stop some of the “good” bots that have long made up part of the fabric of Twitter. 

Daniel, the 23-year-old student in Germany behind @MakeItAQuote, told BuzzFeed News he would have never started it if there were a fee attached. “It’s a step in the wrong direction, as most of the API usage brings a lot of value to the platform,” he said. “And the fact that even myself, operating one of the biggest bots on the platform, has to consider shutting it down is very concerning. There are a lot of awesome, less popular bots. I don’t think any of them can be sustainable.”

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