Cleanup Twitter for the 2020 Elections

Introducing a BlockTogether list for election propaganda bots

Today, we’re introducing a free BlockTogether list which automatically blocks more than 48,000 election propaganda bots on Twitter. These bots are identified in real time by the nonpartisan Bot Sentinel project created by Christopher Bouzy. Read more about the project down below. But first, let’s show you how to get started with the list.

How to Use Our BlockTogether Bot List

Visit and click the blue Block All and Subscribe button at the top of the page. It’s free, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

cleanup 2020 election bots on twitter
Block Together Cleanup 2020 List

Once you are subscribed, BlockTogether will block more than 48,000 propaganda bots for your Twitter account over several hours, and it will continue blocking new bots as we add them. It’s so simple.

what are propaganda bots - bot sentinel
What are propaganda bots? from Bot Sentinel FAQ

A Note About Block Together Twitter Permissions

BlockTogether is a trusted, open source service created on his own time by Jacob Hoffman-Andrews, @j4cob, a senior staff technologist at the awesome Electronic Frontier Foundation. He’s the lead coder for Let’s Encrypt which has made secure https browsing accessible to websites around the world.

election2020 propaganda accounts
Twitter Permissions

But, due to the limitations in the way Twitter’s automation works, you are required to grant BlockTogether access to your Twitter timeline. It will never use your account except to block accounts (and unblock accounts removed from our list).

And, if you happen to follow an account on the block list, BlockTogether will not block it.

About Bot Sentinel

Bouzy launched Bot Sentinel in 2018 “to help diminish the effectiveness of propaganda trollbot accounts that infest Twitter.”

bot sentinel troll bot network
Bots actively trolling Twitter on @speakerpelosi and @potus

Bot Sentinel is nonpartisan; it tracks both left and right trollbot accounts using machine learning and artificial intelligence.

When accounts exhibit “trollbot behavior”, Bot Sentinel adds them to their block list in a publicly available database for everyone to examine.

Twitter users should be able to engage in healthy online discourse without foreign countries and organized groups manipulating the conversation.

Christopher Bouzy, Bot sentinel creator

America Possible has added all of the identified propaganda bots and troll bots to its Block Together list to make it simple to block all of them on your accounts. While Bot Sentinel also identifies “untrustworthy” propaganda accounts of real people, America Possible does not include this list in BlockTogether.

If you’d like a separate BlockTogether list for untrustworthy Twitter people, drop me a reply note on Twitter.

Or, you can import Bot Sentinel’s block lists yourself, customized to your own preferences. It takes about thirty to sixty minutes.

support bot sentinel identify propaganda bots
Consider making a donation to Bot Sentinel

As someone who has seen the obstacles in using the Twitter API, Bouzy has done an incredible job building this tool. Please consider making a donation to support the project at GoFundMe. Bot Sentinel is a tremendous technical accomplishment.

I encourage you to visit Bot Sentinel and explore the site. It’s a very usable and fascinating site that visualizes Twitter’s election trollbot network and how it operates.

Bot Sentinel FAQ - What are Trollbots
What are trollbots? – Bot Sentinel FAQ

I encourage you to browse their site and read their Frequently Asked Questions.

Please share this post — — in social media and with your friends and colleagues. Let’s get propaganda off Twitter before #election2020 reaches full speed.

Thank you for your participation and support.

Posted by Jeff Reifman

Jeff is a writer, activist and technologist residing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2018, he developed the code for and