Botnet is a new app that surrounds you with a million supportive bots who pander to your every statement

A narcissist's dream.


A new social media simulator embraces bots and designs the entire experience around them, to make you feel positively famous.

If you use Twitter at all, you've no doubt ran into accounts with behavior so repetitive and predictable you can't help but wonder if they might be bots, especially ones that post politically. Those dreaded meddling so-called “Russian bots.”

The general sense is that bots are disruptive, negative or simply time-wasting.

Botnet aims to fix at least the first two, by giving you an endless stream of “users” to interact with in a Twitter-like environment.

The purpose seems to be to provide the same supply of dopamine that positive reactions on social media provide, only without requiring any other human beings.

In an age where many believe nepotism has largely replaced meritocracy as the basis of selection for better jobs and promotion – ignoring the more qualified and favoring the more attractive, better connected or more collaborative, conversations of Universal Basic Income have been floating around to provide financial sustenance without requiring the person to provide value through a job.

Botnet seems to be the product of the same line of thinking: It provides sustenance for the soul/heart/mind through likes, compliments, and engagement, without requiring you to go through the social ranks and actually become famous.

Creator of Botnet Billy Chasen commented: “This started as a fun thought experiment around how we can use bots for good. What if there are always people to talk to and share opinions with? Maybe the world would feel less lonely (albeit simulated).”

The app, released a couple of days ago only for iOS currently, looks a lot like a Twitter clone, except with “a million bots who are obsessed with you.”

It is simultaneously amusing and unsettling.

It's hard to say if Botnet is a solution for those who feel lonely, but it's certainly fun to play with.

If you're already famous on regular Twitter, or are a female who posts a lot of selfies, you're likely already used to this insane, consistent deluge of attention.

For the rest of us though, we got Botnet.

Botnet is available on iOS.


Carl Sinclair

Carl Sinclair is a technology reporter covering anti-competetive practices and privacy issues for Reclaim The Net. [email protected]