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Three years of Horse_ebooks
August 6, 2013 7:23 AM   Subscribe

On three years of Twitter's spam phenomenon, Horse_ebooks.
posted by Chrysostom (22 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Koans for the 21st century: what is the sound of a spam bot retweeting?
posted by The Whelk at 7:38 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kind of a weak essay. A buzzfeed-style list of funny horse_ebooks tweets would be more enjoyable than this "analysis" honestly.
posted by mattbucher at 7:43 AM on August 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Everything happens so much" really is sublime.

Cool post, I didn't know about this.
posted by sidereal at 7:51 AM on August 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Clicking the buttons is a fun" @horse_ebooks
posted by kiltedtaco at 8:08 AM on August 6, 2013


Oh man, Horse_ebooks is the best. Especially when it makes inscrutable prophecies, or when its Markov chains occasionally get stuck.
posted by teraflop at 8:25 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's like when Joss Whedon writes "going crazy" dialogue.
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught at 8:36 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Word salad.
posted by smrtsch at 8:49 AM on August 6, 2013


Does the concept of "spam" really apply to a twitter account? I mean, you only see these if you subscribe or otherwise deliberately seek them out, no?
posted by yoink at 9:02 AM on August 6, 2013


Has anyone figured out the WHY of horse_ebooks? What's their game plan?
posted by Tom-B at 9:42 AM on August 6, 2013


teraflop: "Oh man, Horse_ebooks is the best. Especially when it makes inscrutable prophecies, or when its Markov chains occasionally get stuck."

Now I understand... @horse_ebooks is a Cylon hybrid. end of line
posted by schmod at 10:00 AM on August 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Has anyone figured out the WHY of horse_ebooks? What's their game plan?

As far as I understand it, it's an SEO channel to drive traffic back to their site (horse-ebooks.com redirects to some quotation SEO site now and most of the links they post on twitter are to e-library.net now). But if they only posted spammy links to twitter or tweeted at people with links, the account would be flagged as spam and shut down. So this auto-generated text is there to flesh out the account so that it's not 100% spam links.
posted by mattbucher at 10:18 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


@Horse_Recruiter is almost too life-like for anyone that has applied for an IT job in the past decade.

Tom-B: "Has anyone figured out the WHY of horse_ebooks? What's their game plan?"

Wikipedia has an answer:
Gawker did an investigation and found itts creator is believed to be a Russian web developer and spammer named Alexei Kouznetsov or Alexei Kouznetsov Kouznetsov (Russian: Алексей Кузнецов, also romanized Alexey Kuznetsov). Kouznetsov owns as many as 170 domains associated with similar efforts, some of which have been shut down or discontinued. Other accounts include company_ebooks, action_ebooks and mystery_ebooks.
posted by wcfields at 10:28 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find @Horse_JS quite funny. It deals with Javascript.
posted by tykky at 10:53 AM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I run a tiny Twitter ad campaign, out of curiosity for Twitter's evolving ads product. I pay about $1 / month to have Twitter promote tweets to people who are like people who follow @horse_ebooks. It's the best targeting I've found yet, with a 4.86% engagement rate. That's better than the engagement I get from people who are like people who follow me, myself.
posted by Nelson at 12:48 PM on August 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


:)(:
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:30 PM on August 6, 2013


I have a sudden desire to create a twitter account that tweets random 140 sections of metafilter, and see what happens. I don't have the programming skills to do it, but it would be interesting.
posted by Canageek at 3:36 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Everything happens so much" really is sublime.


Except that it's false - everything only happens once.
posted by victory_laser at 3:45 PM on August 6, 2013


I like Horse_eComics.
posted by moonmilk at 5:38 PM on August 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


@Nelson - thanks for helping to make Twitter suck, even if just a little
posted by sidereal at 2:36 AM on August 7, 2013


Huh?
posted by Nelson at 6:44 AM on August 7, 2013


Horse e-Posters, featuring lovely design.
posted by Nelson at 8:26 AM on August 10, 2013




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