Bot and Post Automation

For all types of automated and scheduled content.

If you are running a bot account and/or plan on making use of post scheduling - this article is for you!


  • Automated posts and bot accounts
  • Posting rules for automated content
  • Posting rules and behavior restrictions for bots
  • All bots must be verified with Hachyderm
  • Where applicable, accounts should be verified with their relevant domain(s).

A bit about post automation

Not all posting automation is bot, or bot-like, in nature. Many specialized accounts make use of post scheduling to help communicate with their intended userbase. This can include, but not be limited to, sign up windows for an event that must be done in a specific time frame, automated posts when a blog is updated, and so on.

The line between automated posts and bot posts is a thin one, and mostly dependent on whether a human composed a post (whether it is scheduled for now or later) and whether or not that post is intended to repeat (the “say it once” policy on the Specialized Account Expectations).

As with many of our rules on Hachyderm, the rules and regulations for bot and automated posting is about their impact on the server. We want that impact to be positive and non-invasive. It is our belief that collaboration thrives where there is genuine connection. Genuine connection can happen via bot and automated posts, but cannot thrive if those posts become invasive or compete with each other negatively.

When we enforce the rules and regulations on bots and automated content, as outlined in the next section, we do so with the goal of increasing the connected, collaborative nature of the Hachyderm community.

Posting Rules

All accounts that make use of automated and/or scheduled posts must adhere to the following:

  • There is an upper limit of 5 curated/scheduled/automated posts per day. Lower is better.
  • Posts cannot violate other rules
    • This includes server rules disallowing spam, fundraising, NSFW/18+ content (et al)
    • Hybrid accounts, those that make use of scheduled posts and are also another specialized type, are bound to all sets of rules for their combined, hybrid, account type.
    • Posts cannot violate the Specialized Account Expectations
  • There is one exception: automated posts can skirt the “say it once” policy, unless it becomes spam-worthy (community discretion). So, if you need to post about your event, blog, etc. and stay within the total number of posts per day, this is fine.

Accounts that violate the above may be limited or suspended.

Bot Specific Rules

Account Configuration

  • All bot accounts must be verified with Hachyderm, which means they agree to the Specialized Account Expectations.
  • All bots must select the bot checkbox in their profile settings. (Open image in new window to enlarge.)
    Screenshot of four check boxes in account settings: require follow
requests, this is a bot account, suggest account to others, and hide
your social graph
  • Bots are required to put the #hachybots hashtag in all posts to allow users to opt into, or out of, bot posts.

Restrictions on Behavior

All bot accounts, and bot-like posts, must respect consent (i.e. opt-in). This means:

  • Bots may respond directly to posts that they have been tagged in.
  • Reactionary bots may only be triggered / “summoned” by posts that include their handle.
    • But they cannot “doom spiral”. Essentially: they cannot continue to respond to every response in a thread, because they were tagged once, and thus auto-tagged in all subsequent responses.
  • Bots cannot respond to hashtags, keywords, etc. without being tagged - e.g. bots that respond to user posts based on keywords and similar.
  • Bots designed to consume, use, store, or otherwise handle data (even public data) can only do so with consent (opt-in).
  • Bots designed for fun can skirt the “say it once” policy, unless it becomes spam-worthy (community discretion). So, if your bot only responds with “honk”, and only when summoned, this is fine.

Bot accounts that violate any of the above may be limited or banned.