Aren’t we tired of the bots ravaging the internet right now? It’s one thing to use bots to help aid the flow of information, like when you need to get the price of the Beldex coin on Telegram with a slash command. But that’s different from having to deal with scores of “Hey, wanna chat?” messages. Community moderators have it tough, wading through bots and cleaning them up.
So are bots really disrupting your experience on the Internet? Why do businesses and institutions still use them?
And… are bots allowed on the BChat private messenger? Let’s take a look.
Bots vs Humans
Let’s face the truth. The bots are taking over, and they’re not playing around. Twitter was recently bought by Elon Musk who initially refused to go through with the acquisition deal because he claimed that a third of visible accounts on Twitter are bots. But other sources have claimed that bots on the platform are just shy of 5%.
Still a pretty high figure for a social platform with 238 million users because that’s close to 11.85 million bots.
Bots Are Bad for Social Media, Right?
We’re pretty sure that you might have realized this, but bots are not necessarily bad for social media. It’s how they’re used that makes them annoying or undesirable.
Bots serve many purposes. Some bots are programmed to provide information when prompted. They help businesses and communities grow.
What Are Social Bots
A social bot is a bot that communicates and interacts with users on social media.
For example, the bot @DearAssistant on Twitter is like your personal assistant that tweets answers to your questions. You could ask what’s the weather in Scarborough now or what day of the week does Christmas fall on in 2045 and you’d get the answer instantly. These are FAQ bots.
There are several other implementations of bots that help you get the information you need or perform a certain task. For instance, some bots on Telegram help provide real-time information about the price and volume of a cryptocurrency. E.g. Slash Commands
Bots like Combot are used in Auto Moderation that help in reducing spam. They check the humanity of members who’re added to the group using a simple CAPTCHA test.
A filter can be added to the messages that are sent to delete, mute or ban bots and users who spam the community chat.
DM spam via bots are unavoidable on most of these social applications though.
Where Did It Go Wrong?
Just as there are useful bots that help and support users online, there are also malicious ones whose primary purpose is to wreak havoc.
These range from spam and click-bait phishing bots to web scraping bots and a network of bots (a botnet) used to perform a DDoS attack.
Web Scraping Bots
Web scraping bots are bots that crawl a web page’s HTML or a mobile application to collect unencrypted data such as email addresses, user names, phone numbers, and the like.
This data is then used to send spam messages or phishing links. It may also be sold on darknet marketplaces further compromising the user’s privacy and security.
Spam, Scams, and Phishing Bots
- Unwarranted DMs
Once your username or email address is scraped, it is fed to a spam bot to send random phishing messages with links to spammy websites.
These messages can be exasperating and time-consuming to deal with.
Rule No. 1 when dealing with such messages,
If an unsolicited “May I help you” is the first message that you receive, be sure to block them immediately. Real moderators don’t DM you first unless you reach out to them. They also make sure to verify their identity beforehand.
Never Share Your Seed or Recovery Phrase and Password with Anyone
Keep your recovery phrase safe and in a place that’s accessible only by you.
Below is an example of a random phishing message to our inbox.
- Group Chats with Spammy Links
If you’re joining a group chat, be sure to verify if it’s an official community chat of a legitimate project. Joining random crypto signals, airdrops, and pump and dump groups may lead you to phishing websites down the link.
Sometimes it’s exhausting to deal with these spammers. Here’s a quick guide to protect yourself from online spam & scams.
- Endless Work for Moderators
Community moderators have it tough with kicking, muting, banning bots and spammers. Though automod bots can help, there are limitations to what they can do.
For example, you’d want to allow users to send images, however, there may be no mechanism to review and approve images. In such cases, a community moderator has to review each and every image or video that’s sent by the users/bots.
Does BChat Allow Bots?
BChat is a Web3 messaging app. As such, BChat connects to a decentralized network (the Beldex network) instead of centralized servers. Creating a bot on BChat is a bit complicated, however, it’s not impossible. However, there are mechanisms in place to keep those bots away.
Does BChat need a reCaptcha check?
reCaptcha is used to tell humans and bots apart. BChat currently doesn’t need this feature as it has preventive measures in place to prevent bots and spam from your inbox.
The following features and practices may help you avoid unwanted messages on BChat.
- Your BChat ID Isn’t Visible to Anyone
Your BChat ID isn’t visible to anyone on Social groups. Social groups are public groups that can accommodate a large number of participants. Thus, to prevent spammers from knocking your inbox, BChat IDs are visible only to your BChat contacts and hidden to others by default.
- Message Requests
The ‘message request’ feature filters messages from people who are not in your BChat contact list. When you share your BChat ID with someone for the first time, the messages they send will end up in the ‘Message Request’ tab at the top of the chats screen.
You can either accept or reject a message request.
Replying to their message also accepts their message request by default.
- Join Trusted Social Groups
Since anyone can set up a server and open a Social group on BChat, we suggest that you only join trusted Social groups. These may be groups set up by your friends and peers.
You can also join one of the five groups managed by the Beldex Foundation.
- Crypto News
- Privacy on Secret Groups
Only those in your contacts can add you to Secret Groups. Thus, you wouldn’t lose your privacy. However, members of the group can still see your BChat ID. The maximum number of people you can add to Secret Groups is 100.
Bots are just tools that we use to ease repetitive tasks or aid in supporting people. In the right hands, they are useful and in the wrong hands, they’re malicious.
Bots on BChat may be helpful in moderating Social group communities, however, we’ve ensured that they don’t end up in your inbox.
In the long term, BChat will incorporate useful bots such as an FAQ bot or a price bot.
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