Since the advent of the Internet, programmers have created all sorts of automated programs, also known as bots (robots). Some of these programs are useful. For example, Google uses bots to crawl the Internet and find new content to add to its indices. Any website owner who wants to be found via search engines will find Google’s bots helpful. However, bots may also be automated profiles in Internet chatrooms or social networks like Twitter. These automatic profiles can follow your account or reply to your posts with spam URLs and gibberish. When these bots use images of real people, it can be difficult to determine whether the account is genuine or not. However, with a little common sense, you can learn to detect bots.
If a Twitter bot uses a name or screenname that associates with a celebrity, you can check to see if that account is verified. Twitter will show a green checkmark next to profiles that have been verified, indicating that the actual celebrity or an associate of that celebrity is behind the account. While celebrities may not always verify their accounts, this is a good indicator of a bot.
Reverse Image Search
Although you might be familiar with using Google to perform a text search for images, did you know that you can also perform a reverse image search? This feature allows you to enter the image URL or upload a graphic from your computer to find related Web searches and other instances of the image online. Google reverse image search allows you to find more images of the same size and to track down the origins of the image.
How does this help you to determine a bot? If the reverse image search leads you to a reputable website and you determine that as the origin of the photo, you can check to see if that website is associated with the account. If it is, the account may not only be a bot, but the users behind it could also be stealing images from the actual owners.
In addition to verifying bots, Google’s reverse image search can be used for the following reasons:
- See if others have uploaded your portraits or art to their websites and are claiming to own the copyrights for those images.
- Find the origin of images you may want to use in graphic art to determine if you will be violating copyrights.
- Determine if retailers are selling your product, with or without permission, or claiming that idea as theirs.
- Locate the origin of a product or image on Pinterest so that you can purchase a product or give proper attribution to the owner.
When you’ve located fraud accounts, you might take the time to report the bot as spam from the profile page. Twitter also allows you to file reports about impersonation and brand or trademark infringement. Twitter’s help section contains more information for filing reports about each type of policy violation. Twitter will then investigate the account.
About the guest author @JulianaPayson: Juliana is a Social Media Analyst Specializing for small business and a web hosting provider @InMotionHosting based in southern California, Los Angeles.
This is an original article published on SEO Desk with exclusivity.