Twitter Inc Bot To Correct Tweets With Phrase ‘Illegal Immigrant’


A new Twitter Bot will now remind the world that people are not illegal immigrants, and instead it will offer suggestions such as “undocumented immigrant” or “unauthorized immigrant” instead. Patrick Hogan and Jorge Rivas, journalists at, took the initiative to help America shed some of its historical baggage.

Will the Twitter bot help bring change

Hogan and Rivas developed an automatic Twitter [email protected], which notices tweets using the term and responds to them directly. The campaign is similar to the “Drop the I word,” campaign which started in 2010 with similar objectives.

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In a blog post on Fusion, the bot’s creators said developing it was “a modest effort to help America shed some of its historical baggage.” The authors noted that media firms including the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press had told their journalists not to use the offensive phrase.

For some years, it is assumed that the use of the term “illegal immigrant” or worse “illegal alien” is socially acceptable to describe those people living in the United States without proper authorization. But today in 2015, from President Obama to actress Natalie Portman, most people have been using “undocumented immigrant or “unauthorized immigrant” instead of the outdated phrase “illegal immigrant.”

Terms such as “unauthorized aliens” and “unauthorized workers” are also being used by the Supreme Court, as according to legal experts “illegal immigrant” is not the correct phrase.

Some ok with being corrected, some not

The Twitter bot runs once every ten minutes, and won’t revert to the same user twice in order to avoid spamming people. The initial version of the bot replied to every tweet it found having the term “illegal immigrant,” but was sending more tweets than allowed by Twitter. The campaign has been in existence for several days now, and has tweeted more than 400 responses

So far, the response has been more on the negative side with some Twitter users defending their use of the term. “@DroptheIBot They broke the law entering here illegally, that makes them illegals. Shove your PC BS !” one of the Twitter user replied.

On the other hand, there were some who appreciated the suggestion. “Good point! thank you!” said one user.