hearts, spades, clubs, diamonds, and bots - re your "6/this may explain the appeal of new networks like ello that have not yet been overrun by automation" on twitter: I think this might nail it - but for another reason than you imply and for the very reason you describe here. The appeal of ello seems to be that people can actually behave like bots themselves (i.e. start with a popular elloer, recursively noise-follow all their friends; start a second thread for gently removing unrefollowers; etc.) Your account seems rather unaffected yet, but a ton of people are following 10k people already. Playing like a/becoming the bot seems to be enjoyful in itself.