"@Trackgirl was set up to infiltrate a group of runners. She would scour Twitter for messages with running-themed keywords and post them as if they were her own. Three times a day, she’d pick five people to follow, and she’d always follow back anybody who followed her. Because she seemed connected to the right people, @Trackgirl started to gain followers, who thought her cut-and-paste messages about the agony and the ecstasy of long-distance running were coming from a real person. One day, however, the Twitter bot posted a message saying that she’d hurt her ankle. Soon after, her followers wanted to know if @trackgirl was on the mend. “People were sympathizing with a Python script,” says Marra, a Google product manager who spoke about his work at the MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference in Boston last week."