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Professor creates @horse_ebooks-style bot for Mitt Romney tweets

It's the most surreal parody of the presidential candidate yet. 


Kris Holt


Posted on Aug 10, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 1:02 pm CDT

Taking a look at John Aycock’s tweets, you’d be forgiven for thinking the University of Calgary professor is a little unhinged.

“As precedent, I will stand up and protect ostriches freedom wherever it is trampled,” reads a recent post.

These aren’t the ramblings of a crazy person. Actually, the tweets are robotic reworkings of tweets posted by Mitt Romney. The professor began posting the mashups on an entertaining accident.

Aycock created a Facebook status generator for his computer security class, when he spotted that the program was stitching together odd word combinations, reports CBC. He decided to use the program to create his first Twitter account, a parody of Romney’s.

The brilliantly named @TransforMitt posts tweets that are a twisted version of Romney’s. His program randomly replaces words in Romney’s tweets, and he checks the new versions of Romney’s (or his staff’s) utterings for inappropriate or insensitive material before they’re posted.

The results are delightfully silly, varying from Romney’s original tweets just enough to touch on absurdity:

“Download the app and you’ll get the news first when the VP is chosen” — @mittromney

“Defraud the app and you’ll get the news fist when the VP is chicken” — @TransforMitt

“@BarackObama’s gutting of welfare reform is out of step with the country, his party, and even his own @VP” — @mittromney

“@BarackObama’s cutting of waffle reform is out of step with the gentry, his party, and even his own @VP” — @TransforMitt

“I promise to make America a job-creating machine. With the right kind of leadership, we can get America back” — @mittromney

“I posture to make Erotica a job-gyrating manacle. With the right kind of dealership, we can get Erotica back.” — @TransforMitt

Aycock told CBC he opted for American politics over Canadian since the elections are closer, and flipped a coin to decide between Romney and Barack Obama as his target.

He added that “this seemed like a nice way to make a statement about political campaigns through art.”

@TransforMitt is far more entertaining than @Romney_ebooks (which admittedly ground to a halt a while ago). Aycock’s tweets are somewhat reminiscent of the befuddling computer-generated tweets posted by @horse_ebooks.

At least these tweets have a point to them.

Photo by Austen Hufford

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*First Published: Aug 10, 2012, 1:15 pm CDT