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4 min read

Bad Bots are Winning: The High Stakes of Bots

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If you’ve been keeping up with the Elon Musk Twitter saga, you might have recently read about his latest move in his self-proclaimed war on bots. He famously claimed he would beat the bots or die trying. He immediately followed with a promise to authenticate real humans, a threat at click farms and scam users. The actual number of Twitter users, and thus the platform’s perceived value, became a contentious area for the deal that almost didn’t go through between Twitter and Musk. Twitter claimed that less than 5% of bots on the platform were actually spam bots, which is still debatable. 


The Bad Bots Continue to Win

Of course, not all bots are bad. Historically Twitter allowed outside developers to write programs through a free API. Many of these developers provide excellent services to users, such as public service announcements, weather alerts, and free art.  

Unfortunately, Musk just announced, in his strive to drive profitability through increased fees from the “real users,” that Twitter would no longer allow developers to use automation on the platform for free. This leaves good-intentioned developers and organizations to decide if they can, or are willing to, pay-to-play while allowing the bad bots to continue to invade the platform. After all, it’s a very profitable business for scammy bots.

Anil Dash, a tech entrepreneur and long-time Twitter user, makes a key point that “Twitter killing the API behind a paywall will accelerate the loss of valuable content on this platform (many of the most effective and unique content creators publish via the API), while abusive bots will continue to go around the API, as always.”

Twitter struggles to balance monetizing the platform and staying true to its promise of a bot-free environment. Let’s be real honest, if Elon Musk, one of Forbes’ richest men in the world, can’t beat the bad bots, what chance do the rest of us have?

Anura Keeps out the Bad and Lets in the Good

Relying on social networks to police their platforms hasn’t worked yet. It’s up to us to protect our marketing dollars from bad bots and fake leads. Business Wire reported a 50% increase in bad bot traffic during the 2022 holiday shopping season alone. Companies rely on good traffic and genuine leads to increase sales and profitability. But how do you determine the good from the bad? That’s where Anura comes in. No need to wait on Elon Musk to protect your bottom line; Anura has you covered. Anura detects bots before they cause harm. And not just those pesky bots on social platforms; bots of all kinds.

Click Bots

Click Bots click on ads to artificially inflate ad campaign data and burn through an advertiser’s budget. Your ad spend on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can quickly get eaten away through click bots. The total cost of ad fraud exceeded $81 billion in 2022 and is expected to increase to $100 billion by 2023, according to Statista research.

Form Bots

Bots are programmed to fill out forms triggering a conversion on lead generation or affiliate campaigns in order to be paid. These leads will never convert to actual sales. If you manage the leads coming in through your company’s site, we don’t need to tell you how much of that traffic is fake. But in case you don’t, the average is somewhere between 20-25% of that traffic is fake. 

Impression Bots

Fraudsters create bots to create impressions. They artificially inflate site metrics for impressions and reduce conversion statistics. Who would do such a thing? Influencers are known to increase engagement through fake impressions because that’s how they are paid. It’s a simple game of economics, and one that marketers can easily fall victim to.

Impersonator Bots

Impersonator bots disguise themselves to mimic human behavior online—such as filling out forms and clicking through site pages. As a result, these bots artificially inflate site metrics and waste resources, including follow-up efforts. 

Scraper Bots

Scraper bots "scrape" or steal high-quality content from other websites and repurpose it on their own sites. These bots are especially dangerous to advertisers. These sneaky bots provide fraudsters with real images, copy, and content from your site in order to create a duplicate version, often tricking people into transacting with imposters rather than authentic companies. 

Spam Bots

These bots plague comment sections, lead forms, and email inboxes, spreading unsolicited messages, advertising links, and other forms of spam. Historically, companies relied on CAPTCHA technology to help keep out bad bots from leads forms and eventually email inboxes. Unfortunately, this outdated technology can do more harm than good. Real people get turned away by CAPTCHA all the time, whereas Anura blocks the bad traffic while allowing the good to flow through. 

Phishing Bots

Bots are programmed to phish for personal information that visitors submit through forms, such as phone numbers, email addresses, and passwords. These phishy little bots can even disguise themselves as chatbots, engaging in conversations with real users to convince them to hand over personal information. For example, Bleeping Computer reported how victims willingly handed over personal information in a phishing bot scam using a simple package delivery notification.

Zombie Bots

Zombie bots turn computers into mindless drones, letting hackers control them remotely without visitors knowing their machine has been compromised. 


When a user takes over multiple machines, they then become a botnet—a cute name for a not-so-cute crime. From bad actors to organized criminal groups, zombie bots and botnets are a leading form of disruptive cybercrime and malicious attacks hitting both the private and public sectors. Forbes reported one case where the FBI disrupted a Russian-based botnet that inflicted cyber damage on US companies.

Anura Automatically Hides Ads from Bots

Elon could learn a thing or two from Anura’s technology. Bots can’t get to what they can’t see. 

Anura can help create conversions, reduce wasted ad spend, protect important personal information, stop competitor fraud, and protect your brand’s reputation. Fraud costs you wasted time and money, or both, and puts your organization at unnecessary risk. Learn how to protect your organization with a free trial.

Talk to one of our experts today and ensure your business has the best bot defense.


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