But some bots mean well even if they fail, like Tay of Microsoft and there are the cheating bots too, which artificially boost follower counts and advertising clicks.
Popular game-streaming platform Twitch on Friday opened a new front against the bots of the last kind by suing seven of the most active sellers of viewbot services in federal court. In its complaint, Twict has accused the companies of engaging in cybersquatting, trademark infringement, and computer fraud, among other charges.
"We at Twitch are well aware that view-bots, follow-bots, and chat-impersonation bots are a persistent frustration," the company's marketing VP Matthew DiPietro wrote in a blog post.
"Exploited by a small minority, these services have created a very real problem that has damaging effects across our entire community."
The defendants named in the lawsuit peddle their bot services through websites with rather obvious names, like "TwitchViewerBot.com" and "StreamViewers.com."
"These deceptive actions inflate viewer statistics for some channels while harming legitimate broadcaster channels by decreasing their discoverability," Twitch argued in the complaint. "That, in turn, hurts the quality of the experience community members have come to expect from Twitch."