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These bots can model how users react to changes made on the Facebook platform.

Researchers at Facebook have released a paper on a “Web Enabled Simulation” (WES) to be able to test the platform. It will use bots simulate different kinds of real user behaviour. The simulation will be populated by non-existent users that can like, share, friend or harass, abuse and scam like real users.

Through this exercise, Facebook plans to study trolls and scammers and detect bugs. Bots could be trained to connect with “target” bots similar to real-life Facebook scam victims or invade user privacy among other behaviours.

WES can also help identify the platform’s vulnerabilities. The company wants to build a parallel social graph with “fully isolated bots that can exhibit arbitrary actions and observations”. 

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