The concept for my bot came to me while I was signing up for my Twitter account. As always, I skipped through the terms of service agreement and accepted it without question. These agreements have become a kind of joke in themselves – nobody takes the time to read them, and everyone knows it. So, my bot Tweets the agreements, a little bit at a time, of several online companies: Twitter, Google, Facebook, etc. In this way, I hoped to put these legal documents at the forefront of peoples’ minds. If one follows the Twitter account, it is impossible to ignore these words, as they appear in his or her feed. The account can be found here:
My procedure went exactly as it was outlined in the instructions on the class blog. I found the agreements online and converted them into plain text using TextEdit. I then used the line breaks tool on TextMechanic to separate it into lines of 140 characters (with word wrap). My spreadsheet reflected these Tweets I had created. All of the technical steps were followed effectively.
The project of creating the bot also made me think a lot about language and what can be viewed as literature. The Twitter account tweets words – originally used in the form of a legal document. However, putting the document in a new context makes it feel as if the words have been transformed to a piece of episodic literature. Taking in the legal language in smaller, bit-size pieces seems to make it more readable and palatable. There were a few that I legitimately found interesting, despite the fact that I certainly would not have thought that of the text as a whole.