It’s no secret that ever since Elon Musk acquired Twitter, those with racist views have felt a bit more comfortable expressing them on the app. But now, it seems things have gone a bit further. Automated bots are now sniffing out keywords and offering users who mention the N-word in any form, cheap guns.
In an article published yesterday (March 6) by Rolling Stone, the outlet claimed that anytime these accounts are reported, several more pop up in their place. Twitter users began noticing the unsolicited ads late last month. “Why does the N-word trigger bots to sell you some guns under a tweet? That has racist implications to me,” one person said. Another tweeted, “Ain’t nothing more racist than the bots that say they got guns replying to people who use the N-word. Who [the f**k] programmed that s**t?”
why these twitter bots try to sell you guns when they see the word “nigga” 🤨
— Whoa, it’s Joe (@_Back_2_Back__) March 3, 2023
Others blamed the Twitter CEO directly for the controversy: “Elon Musk really got racist bots tryna sell guns in every post that say ‘n**ga.’ Like, [what]?” A similar message read, “Those gun bots are racist. Elon knows what he’s doing.” The sale of weapons brought on by the mention of a racial slur directly violates several of the platform’s policies, including: “Violent speech” that does not allow users to “incite” or “glorify” violence or harm; and “Violent and hateful entities,” which prohibits affiliation with accounts that “promote the activities of violent and hateful entities.”
Bots selling services on Twitter is nothing new; however, this appears to be the first instance of race being used to promote violence. “Sex bots ain’t working so these n**gas said, ‘F**k it, we got guns,’” one person tweeted on Feb. 23. While some users have accused “the Feds” of being in on the tweets, Rolling Stone added that the links are more than likely scams. “I’ve talked to plenty of FBI guys about this before and Twitter bots seem beyond their normal set of skills. Not that there aren’t people in law enforcement who could do it, but it’s more techy than normal — entrapment at scale!” Dr. Jen Golbeck, a professor at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies, told the outlet.
See what others are saying below.
The following is a test to see if the word “nigga” triggers the fed bots who are trying to peddle guns on twitter.
— JQA |C.A.C.L| Libertarian Stalinist |🚜☀️🦍🇷🇺 (@Thebcktrckpdca1) March 1, 2023
ain’t nothing more racist than the bots that say they got guns replying to people who use the n word😭 who tf programmed that shit
— Himmy Hendricks (@PercocetSir) March 6, 2023
Spam bots have always been annoying, but racist bots commenting on Black twitter to solicit guns, in AAVE, makes my skin crawl
— Aisha (@AishaaaMarie) March 6, 2023
I simply do not understand how there are bots selling guns on Twitter right now.
— Super Parody Banana Bread (@ChemicalCrust) March 2, 2023
Why is there a twitter bot tryna sell guns to you when you tweet the word Nigga??
— Straightphobic Trash (@TheQueenSpeaks_) March 6, 2023
theres gotta be some racist going on where if you typed “nigga” in a response you make under for a tweet that the spam bots come in talking about guns ? pic.twitter.com/h1hYOAAYrh
— dn (@javmoor) March 3, 2023
Elon musk really got racist bots tryna sell guns in every post that say nigga like wat
— IRON LUNG YOUNG (@Leek_Escobar) March 5, 2023
Sex bots ain’t working so these niggas said fuck it we got guns
— 𓂀 (@yonceduh) February 23, 2023
niggas said the sex bots aren’t working let’s be racist and sell guns
— L (@whatsnextlex) March 7, 2023
Why does the N-word trigger bots to sell you some guns under a tweet? That has racist implications to me
— Spencer Dumwiddie (@BeeeSimp) March 3, 2023