Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

When arguing with 'bots, use a 'bot

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitNovember 4, 2010 10:00 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

I see a lot of the same, tired, and totally wrong arguments about global warming over and over again whenever I write about it. "The other planets are warming!", "In the 70s scientists said the Earth was cooling!", "The climate scientists were caught faking their data!" Wrong, wrong, and wrong. It's almost as if the people making so much noise against the idea of global warming are robots, just repeating their arguments in the hope -- sadly, probably correctly -- that people will be swayed by repetition. Software developer Nigel Leck feels the same way, so he created a 'bot for Twitter that scans for key words used by climate change denialists and tweets automatic rebuttals to the most common "arguments". It's pretty awesome: it posts a short, pithy debunking with a link to sites for more detail. The 'bot is called AI_AGW and you can follow it on Twitter (note: it tweets a lot). Pretty sweet idea! Now we just need one for homeopaths, anti-vaxxers, 2012ers, creationists, chiropractors, UFOers...


Tip o' the thermometer to Jennifer Lynn Hachigian and many others.

2 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In