Inspiration

Social media and information dissemination is all about appeal, but the messages of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are not nearly as presentable. What if there were a better way to spread this information?

What it does

Our product focuses on promoting SDG 14, Life Under Water. RoboticActivist automatically accrues followers, follows relevant users, identifies relevant posts, and reposts lesser known content while accrediting the original posters. By posting relevant community-driven posts, RoboticActivist seeks to spread knowledge far more effectively than traditional bots, and by using third party AI algorithms based on emotive and image recognition systems, irrelevant content can be kept to a minimum. This self-moderating approach prevents abuse of the system and enhances its longevity and legitimacy while deployed.

How we built it

Using multiple Instagram APIs like instaPy and instaLoader as well as Python packages like numPy, we were able to integrate our multiple features effectively, as well as further humanizations like the addition of relevant captions and the tagging of users improves the bot's legitimacy. The TextBlob API was used to provide tonal recognition of captions and tentatively classify them, allowing the removal of negative captions and content containing profanity.

Challenges we ran into

Our alpha builds of RoboticActivist struggled with InstaPy's API, as there were several issues within the package itself which rendered our work obsolete. In order to circumvent these problems, we reinvented our concept of the bot in a manner which was able to avoid the broken parts of the package. By combining the functionalities of different APIs, we avoided these issues.

Instagram's anti-spam functions impeded RoboticActivist's autoposting and auto-following routines due to short delays between posts. We hope to implement additional humanization features in order to prevent detection and identification as a bot.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Successfully redistributing smaller posts within environmentally-oriented hashtags with full credit to the owner, in order to promote grassroots social media campaigns.

The full integration of multiple programming APIs and bundles to create a fully functional, fully integrated system which adequately works and can organically accrue followers. Bonus points: none of us had any prior experience with web APIs and webscrapers before this hackathon, yet we've learned a lot in such a short time.

Overcoming initial issues of differing directions and opinions to create a program that all members of the team can work on and take pride in.

What we learned

  • Using filepaths in python programs
  • Basic webscraping
  • Combining functionalities of different APIs

What's next for RoboticActivist

  • Improve performance
  • Integrate more instances of Artificial Intelligence in order to classify and promote more relevant information.
  • Increase interactions with other accounts through liking and commenting through either AI-personalized or generic channels.
  • Broaden content accessible to the bot and establish usability across Instagram.

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