An engineer created a bot to participate in the contest on Twitter

An American computer engineer has designed a Twitter bot designed to automatically retweet all events taking place on the social network. It has gained more than 1,000 competitions a year, and especially beat the vigilance of Twitter.

Hunter Scott won on average 4 contest by Twitter for a year. His secret: he used it for a bot responsible for detecting all competitions appearing on the social network, and requiring retweet a message.

But the goal of the engineer was not only to win prizes – most of which, according to his own opinion, are not very interesting. Hunter Scott wanted to know if it was really possible to win this way. And he, for that, had to use cunning.

For the approach to design the bot was not necessarily easy and therefore a challenge. The Python script that was designed for this purpose should therefore ensure retweet the original tweet, not a message of a participant. According to the request of the contest, the bot was also able to follow a different account, or to the tweet as a favorite.

Go under the radar Twitter

“The most difficult part in this project was not being spotted by Twitter, which would have banned the bot,” explains the engineer. Hunter Scott has had to perform tests to understand how Twitter is because if the service is based on criteria such as speed of tweets and retweet, or an average of subscriptions, he never communicated precise figures .

The developer has used the so-called FIFO (First In, First Out) so as to remove the accounts followed after a certain period of time because Twitter blocks to 2000 the number of accounts that can be followed when few of followers. A situation which allowed assure him that he was still following the right accounts until the end of the contest. “I was lucky, the number of competitions launched on Twitter retweets be less than the rate I was able to participate in every contest that the bot was. ”

Some prizes won by Scott Hunter

A very low rate of gain

Hunter Scott gained just over 1,000 gifts in one year, but he, why, attended 165,000 contest. “My win rate is about 0.5%, which is miserable, especially when you consider the nature of the lots.” Indeed, the developer won many custom logos for Twitter, virtual currency for games, tickets to events taking place abroad … the fact of participating in all competitions has also helped him to win some fun gifts, “my favorite win is a cowboy hat autographed by a Mexican telenovela star I’ve ever heard. I love it because it perfectly symbolizes the randomness of these competitions. ”

The developer says he refused many gifts because he was not in the usefulness or could not go to certain places. “Then I sent a message just to say I did not want and could give it to someone else. “Finally, he added that in some cases, he claimed gains that have not been sent to him.

As a technical and social experience that could inspire other lovers of challenges and competitions.

Edited on 10/08/2015 at 15h08

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