10 Great Non-Human Twitterers


By: David Stokes

Fly Colony

Fly Colony

These Twitter feeds let non-human entities speak. And open-up whole new realms of articulation.

1. Horse ebooks

A veritable god among twitter bots (with 195,994 followers), horse ebooks is the only twitter bot to be profiled in the New Yorker, inspire endless stick and poke tattoos and t-shirts, and become the subject of investigative journalism (who created this program and why?). Horse ebook is a spambot (apparently originating in Russia) that tweets links to penis pill sites and work from home scam sites. But what makes it so interesting is that in between these obvious scam links it spews out a steady torrent of nonsensical verbal juxtapositions and random observations. These Dadaist texts are thought to be how the programmer allowed Horse ebooks to evade anti-spambot software, but the result is a constantly surprising source of surreal non-sequiturs that are inexplicably poetic and arresting. ____ a Horse ebooks tweet is a refreshing and __________. Sometimes it sounds like it is stealing lines from an old Hollywood noir; sometimes, it feels like something out of whimsical poet; sometimes like a heartbroken Proustian tale of love lost. It’s power is in it’s suggestion.

Sample tweets:

“I will make certain you never buy knives again.”

“There s a salad”

When exactly to SHOW UP and when to LEAVE…and WHY.

“The basic nutritional requirements of a champion pigeon.”

“What did you buy? l bought a dress. l bought some steak. Where did you go last weekend and what did you do?”

“What do you really want to do with your telescope?”

“Dear tomato”

“Too many horses. Throw a horse away.”


“Do you get pinned and smothered on the ground by Goliath-sized grapplers, unable to move and unable”

“on the other hand, you’re surrounded by beauty and order.”

“When you see hunks and models on TV, think more”

“Laugh and feel”

“Are you ready to have a swan?”

“Learn How To Find The Most Reputable, Honest & Brutal”

“any liquid, an overflow, a torrent ; a fit of sickness ; a passion, frenzy ; water”

“leg butt”

2. Pentametron

This twitter bot describes itself thusly: “With algorithms subtle and discrete / I seek iambic writings to retweet.” It scans hundreds of thousands of normal tweets, looking for lines that happen to be in iambic pentameter. It’s hilarious to read people’s mundane or obscene thoughts when they have accidentally written them with the verbal might of _______, each line seems to hark back to Shakespeare. And had he ______, I bet this is what he’d write.

Sample tweets:

-ZH· ‏@Zabdiih16 22h

Kiss me in sidewalk take the pain away.

GeorgeFoster ‏@george_foster3 22h

Tequila party at hotel today

3. Fly Colony

This twitter feed sends twitter based on the activities of a collection of houseflies. The flies live inside an acrylic sphere along with a computer keyboard. As the flies move and interact inside their home, they fly over the keys on the keyboard. These movements are collected in real-time via video. When a particular key is triggered by the flies, the key’s corresponding character is entered into a twitter text box. When 140 characters are reached or the flies trigger the “enter” key, the message containing the accumulated characters is tweeted. Thus live twitter messages are perpetually sent in real-time based on the simple movements of the community of houseflies.

Sample tweets:



4. The Gowanus Canal and the Newtown Creek

These two twitter feeds are industrial waterways in New York City. These twitter bots speak in the first person, cajoling you to come see the tide, to look carefully and closely. The twittering waterways’ knowledge is drawn from NOAA tide tables. Their use of twitter is an apt comment on the modernity of these two waterways. Formerly parts of tidal salt marshes, both are now heavily polluted. Centuries of development have altered everything about the landscapes of Newtown and Gowanus. They’re edged with bulkheads instead of reeds, their tributaries are now sewers.

Gowanus Canal @therealgowanus

Come by in 23 minutes and see my high tide, I’ll be 23 inches above typical.<10 minutes="minutes" ago="ago">

Newtown Creek @newtown_creek

My next high tide is in 63 minutes. I’ll be 16 inches higher than typical.

10 minutes ago

5. God

This twitter feed is a great example of using twitter to role play and _______. While unlike the others on this list in that it is, lets be fair, gasp, sacrilidge, probably a human behind the scenes, Tweets from God is a ___________. “I’m your dope-ass divinity, trollin’ with My trinity, tossin’ top tweets in your immediate vicinity, flingin’ fly phrases from the fringes of infinity.”

God ‏@TheTweetOfGod 27 Jul

It’s too bad the meaning of life is 141 characters.

God ‏@TheTweetOfGod 6h

In one trillion years the universe will be reduced to a state of zero thermodynamic energy without light or heat. Nice job, Obama.

God ‏@TheTweetOfGod 22 Jul

I had a #RoyalBaby once. Much more low-key. No reporters. No hospital. No sex.

6. The Longest Word

This twitter feed tweets every character in the DNA sequence of the protein Titin, the muscle protein that largely governs the elastic properties of muscle. Titin’s components also happen to be the largest word. Now despite __________, what’s interesting about this twitter is that without it, this word or entity would never _________. An awareness of the phenomenal coding ______ in just one small portion of the body.

Sample tweet:


7. Stealth Mountain

Living to correct a single high specific mistake, Stealth Mountain “Just got a sneak peak at the new Xbox!!!”

will address you and ask? Perhaps you meant “sneak peek?” Subtle differences between words, and a fair bit of zany humour.

8. Yes Your Racist

9. Choose This

10. Robot J McCarthy

11. Text-Only Instagram

12. Botanicalls

This article was originally published on our old website at https://thenewspaper.ca/the-inside/10-great-non-human-twitterers/.