Wired/ Arielle Pardes/ March 1, 2020

Recently, Billy Chasen started to wonder what it would be like to be famous on the internet. Chasen is far from a nobody: He helped create Chartbeat, an analytics service used by many journalists, and Turntable.fm, a beloved internet music community. But compared to the influencer set or even the average high school student, his social media presence is piddling. He has fewer than 600 followers on Instagram, and just over 4,000 on Twitter.

Cultivating a massive online following can take a lot of work, however, and Chasen did not have the time. So instead, he built some bots. Hundreds of thousands of them.

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