Twitter user Jeffry van der Goot says he was questioned by police after his Twitter bot made what appeared to be death threats. In a series of tweets first spotted by Fusion, van der Goot explains that his bot, which takes random words from his feed and jumbles them into new tweets, got him in what could have been potentially serious trouble.
I just got visited by the police because of a death threat my Twitter bot made.— j van der wonderlamp (@jvdgoot) February 11, 2015
So I had to explain Twitter bots to the police. And I can't really blame them for having to take it seriously.— j van der wonderlamp (@jvdgoot) February 11, 2015
But apparently *I'm* responsible for what the bot says, since it's under my name and based on my words.— j van der wonderlamp (@jvdgoot) February 11, 2015
A developer based in Amsterdam, van der Goot said the tweet from his Twitter bot that incited the visit from police was actually in response to another Twitter bot. While he never identified the handle of his Twitter bot, van der Goot says he has deleted it after a request from police. This isn't the first bot to do something illegal — an art collective in Switzerland created a bot that purchased and delivered drugs to their front door. The question is how do we handle robots that go rogue?