Elon Musk declares 'system purge of bots & trolls' underway, X to bring 'full force of the law' against those responsible

"X Corp will be tracing the people responsible and bringing the full force of the law to bear upon them."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
On Thursday, Elon Musk announced that a system-wide purge of bots and trolls had kicked off on X.

He vowed to track down those overseeing the spam accounts and dealing with them appropriately.


"System purge of bots & trolls underway," Musk wrote in a post on X. "Please reply to me or [X Engineering] if legitimate accounts are suspended."

"X Corp," he added, "will be tracing the people responsible and bringing the full force of the law to bear upon them."

Ridding the platform of bots has long been on Musk's agenda. Upon taking ownership he vowed to get it done, but thus far the problem has persisted. Analysis conducted by researchers at the Queensland University of Technology last year found that spam accounts were still present as ever. 

The researchers tracked a number of bot accounts and discovered that they remained active longer than expected, suggesting that "whatever method [X] is using [to crack down on such accounts] is poor."

Many of the accounts central to the network of bots had paid for verification, and sported the once-coveted blue checkmark. Musk originally touted the verification system as a way to cut down on spam.

The researchers concluded that, at the time, three quarters of traffic on X was facilitated by bots, and that, anecdotally at least, "one in 10 likes are from a porn bot."

As the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports, in January what appeared to be a ChatGPT glitch resulted in countless bots on X posting variations of a generic response to requests that the artificial intelligence-driven accounts were not able to answer.

Musk's announcement was met with celebration from users tired of seeing bots on their feed and in their mentions.

"Thanks for doing this Elon," one user wrote. "Bad actors have been weaponizing bots against accounts in order to destroy their reach. This has been happening since last ownership. I look forward to both bots and the reputation system being eliminated."


"Destroying the porn bots would be one of the best things you could do to make X a better platform," another added. "Thanks for tackling this!"

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