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There are questions here about whether to spread the word about the site through social media, how to spread that word, and finally improving our presense on Twitter and taking control of the AskUbuntu Twitter account.

From Marco's answer and jrg's comment to this question, the AskUbuntu Twitter account is a bot.

However, none of the above questions seem to talk about when does the Twitter account actually tweet a question? I'm curious. What are all the conditions that the account tweets a question? After how many views? Or votes? I know that it tweets after a bounty is placed.

Example: this question was tweeted; it currently has 76 views, 3 upvotes and 4 answers of which one has 9 upvotes. What triggered the tweet?

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Documenting whatever I could find about the workings of the Twitter bot:


The algorithm (possibly outdated) for determining the hotness of the question is given here:

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A bit of history here. Back in December of 2010, I was asked by Jeff Atwood to write a Twitter bot that tweeted popular questions from Stack Exchange sites. I completed this just before Christmas and the code I wrote was eventually integrated into the Stack Exchange codebase.

Now, I have no idea how much of the original code remains. However, I can point you to the relevant lines of code that determine what gets tweeted:

http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~george-edison55/stackbot/trunk/view/head:/Main.cs#L303

In summary, there are five factors that determine how "hot" a question is:

  • number of answers
  • whether or not it is community wiki
  • the question's score
  • how many users have favorited it
  • number of views

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