Reddit bots — accounts that autoreply to certain types of content with specific replies — are a source of amusement, humor, and sometimes annoyance on the popular social aggregation site.
If you’ve never seen Reddit bots hard at work, let us first get an ELI5 on what the accounts actually do most of the time, from u/lobsang_ludd. He/she explained last year:
“Mostly, they’re scripts that run on a timer, and when the timer triggers they search reddit for a particular kind of post using the JSON or XML API (a way to ask reddit about its content that’s meant for machines to read rather than display to humans as HTML is). Then, based on the idea of the bot, they may make a response such as a comment post.”
As an aside, one of our top five favorite things to ever happen on the internet was when Snoop Dogg replied to u/CaptionBot in r/trees.
There’s at least one Reddit bot related subreddit, r/botwatch, that discusses bot activity. Among discussions across r/botwatch’s history is one in which someone requests a bot that scans for all DAE comments (does anyone else?) and replies after a week, “no, just you.” Ha.
There are Calvin Hobbes bots, Cards Against Humanity bots, and several performing various functions to fluctuating levels of Redditor approval across nearly every sub — there are even bot flamewars.
Of Reddit’s thriving bot community, we like:
AutoWikiBot, because he ensures we don’t have to open yet another tab to get a Wikipedian sitrep. Example:
“The bystander effect, or bystander apathy, is a social psychological phenomenon that refers to cases in which individuals do not offer any means of help to a victim when other people are present. The probability of help is inversely related to the number of bystanders. In other words, the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will help. Several variables help to explain why the bystander effect occurs. These variables include: ambiguity, cohesiveness and diffusion of responsibility.”
Next up is Dickish_Bot_Bot, still in beta, but amusing nonetheless. Example:
“Hi … I’m a bot that detects other bots acting kind of dickish and you have caught my attention. In the future try being less dickish. Have a great day!”
BeetusBotis keeping snark subreddit r/fatpeople stories honest, cataloguing users’ propensity for telling fat people tall tales. Example:
“Other stories from /u/fallencastle :
- My sister married into a ham universe. They skipped the wedding and demolished the reception. (this)
- Quick: Hammy wins a sushi eating contest, gets offended by Facebook comments“
CoinFlipBottakes the debate out of Reddit device, flipping a coin for those on the fence about indecision in areas ranging from video game purchases to breakups. Example:
“I flipped a coin for you, /u/holyrofler The result was: tails!”
PictureDescriberBot helps you get a better full-thread experience when your connection is slow. Example:
“Hello! I am a bot that uses a reverse image search to try and find a description of the image in case it goes down or if your internet is too slow! … Blank Zen Seal Meme[.]”
Discovering ProselytizerBotcracked us up, as he directs people to /r/onetruecarp when a misspelling of “holy crap” is detected. Example:
Not a very active bot, more’s the pity. While we wait for the Daily Mail correction bot, there’s also ICouldntCareLessBot, ensuring people know they’re indicating they care a little when they are unlikely to care at all. Example:
“Hello TheNerdist. I believe that you meant to say, “couldn’t care less”.
Lastly, the PriceZombie bot — cataloguing a specific item’s price fluctuations when mentioned, is a fantastic resource. Example:
Bodum Chambord 3 cup French Press Coffee Maker, 12 oz., Chrome
Price Date Low $19.99 Nov 30 2013 High $34.99 Mar 10 2014 Current $29.99 Mar 14 2014
Did we miss any awesome Reddit bots in this sure to be incomplete list?