Robots of the Internet: Follow Me and Be My Minions

I’ve made an interesting discovery in the last few weeks as I’ve been blogging about a variety of pop culture topics: what “bots” do with key words. In case you’re unaware, a bot—AKA a web spider or crawler—is an automated computer script that “crawls” text on web pages to find certain lines of code, text, or key words. When it finds what it’s looking for, executes its mission. Certain types of bots are useful little guys, finding and fixing errors or making changes that would be very repetitive and time consuming for humans to do. For example, on Wikipedia bots regularly crawl the pages looking for categorization inconsistencies and fixing them. These kind of bots are the heroic worker bees doing mundane tasks for the betterment of the interwebs.

However, there is another more sinister type of bot. Just as the hero in my classic 1950s science fiction tale has a nemesis, these hero bots have a dark alter ego. We might call these bots “minions of the deep web”. In fact, let’s do call them that. I have recently become aware of these minions (at least some of them) because they have been crawling through my blog pages on a daily basis searching for their key words in order to execute their primary function. And they are finding what they’re looking for.

Since my blogs frequently contain key words that the bots like (recent examples include The Walking Dead, Katy Perry, and Neil Young) the bots get very excited and telepathically communicate with their bosses (or however that works) to tell them they found something. The result is that a short time after my blog has been “crawled” I end up with random new Twitter followers who are obviously related to key words I've used.

Usually, these automated follows on Twitter are trying to get me to follow them back. I guess there’s money to be made here. It’s pretty ironic since they don’t read the context of the blogs to recognize that much of what I’ve said is either sarcastic or critical. Since I don’t follow them back, they usually abandon me within a few days. But a few stick it out for the long haul.

I currently have a Walking Dead follower and an EDM DJ; my conquest of the world is proceeding according to plan. I am raising an army of internet robots and will shortly be able to execute Plan 9 from Outer Space. (Let’s see what that gets me.) I am now actively calling the minion bots to my command: Benedict Cumberbatch Marvel Comics Beyonce Star Wars Orange is the New Black Xbox Chipotle. That should make an unstoppable army. I can’t wait to see what happens.

In summation, ATTACK, undead robot minions, ATTACK! Cue evil laugh and the sinister rubbing of the hands: Mua ha ha ha ha…