Author: Jeremy David Johnson

Jeremy David Johnson completed his PhD in Communication Arts & Sciences at Penn State University in January 2018. His writing on algorithms and networked culture has appeared in the edited volumes Theorizing Digital Rhetoric and Ancient Rhetorics and Digital Networks, as well as the journal Argumentation & Advocacy. See more at or @jeremydigitalus on Twitter.

Unless you’re rooting for social media bots to become Nazis, Microsoft’s Tay was a resounding failure. When she was released “into the wild” on Twitter, she learned quickly based on her input data: interactions with users on the platform. As those users inundated Tay with misogyny, xenophobia, and racism, Tay started to spout out hateful messages. It’s been a couple years since Tay’s troubles, and Microsoft even tried another bot, Zo, which has likewise had a few problems. Bots are still in the news for their problems; in fact, bots and bad behavior now are almost synonymous, especially in light…

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