A man’s Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) bot has landed him in hot water after the police questioned him about death threats posted to his account.
According to Fusion’s Kashmir Hill, Jeffry van der Goot, a developer based in the Netherlands, has revealed on Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) that he has been questioned by the authorities after his Twitter bot seemingly made a death threat to another Twitter bot.
Twitter bots, as the Amsterdam-based developer explained, take chunks of an account’s past tweets and rehashes them to automatically make sensible new tweets.
“I just got visited by the police because of a death threat my Twitter bot made,” van der Goot said on Twitter.
He said the randomly-generated words his bot threaded together made a death threat and so the police “come to me”.
Van der goot said that he had to explain to the police just what a Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) bot is and how they work. He said he had to delete his bot because that was what the police wanted. Furthermore, he said that the authorities told him that he is responsible for what the bot said because it is making posts under his name and the tweets are based on his words.
This, he said, makes for an interesting legal angle. Van der Goot also said that he is “kind of shook up” because of the visit by the authorities.
Van der Goot’s bot apparently made an @-reply to another bot while also mentioning an event that was then happening in Amsterdam. The threat was not specifically directed at the other bot, the developer said. However, we venture that the mention of the event and the threat itself caused the police to investigate who van der Goot said found the tweet when one of its human detectives saw the tweet.
The developer said that all the police wanted was an explanation and that his Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) be deactivated. The developer of the bot, a certain “Short Hair as a Serv” who goes by the Twitter handle @Wxcafe has gone on Twitter to say the they do not have legal knowledge and so cannot say who should be held responsible. The developer of the bot also said that they are “kinda scared right now”.
Daniel Benton’s Andor Capital Management owned 5.75 million Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) shares by the end of September.