Scripture as Spam: What 5 Experts Think About Twitter Bible Bots

Does it matter that Twitter bots circulate vastly more Bible verses than real pastors?
Scripture as Spam: What 5 Experts Think About Twitter Bible Bots
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Of the 200 billion messages sent on Twitter last year, about 40 million featured Bible verses.

The top five Scripture passages shared are evangelical favorites:

  • Philippians 4:13 (“I can do all things”)
  • John 3:16 (“For God so loved the world”)
  • Jeremiah 29:11 (“For I know the plans I have for you”)
  • Romans 8:18 (“Our present sufferings are not worth comparing”)
  • Romans 8:28 (“In all things God works for the good”)

About half a million of these tweets (and retweets) came from just 10 pastors, celebrities, and social media stars.

John Piper, founder of Desiring God, took the top slot after tweeting and being retweeted 109,589 times. Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse president and CEO, surged into the ranks of the top Bible tweeters for the first time at No. 2, with 94,341 tweets and retweets.

He bumped last year’s runner-up, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, to No. 3. (Wilson posts a Bible verse daily using the hashtag #BVD.)

Other notables in the top 10 include financial guru Dave Ramsey (No. 6), ESPN analyst Tim Tebow (No. 7), Bible teacher Joyce Meyer (No. 9), and megachurch pastor T. D. Jakes (No. 10).

But the reach of tweets shared by humans was dwarfed by the top 10 bots—programs designed to auto-create tweets. Bots shared Bible verses more than 7.5 million times.

“Around 20 million of the 40 million verses shared on Twitter this year, as far as I can tell, came from Bible spam accounts—accounts that do nothing but tweet Bible verses all day,” wrote Stephen Smith of OpenBible.info, who crunched the data.

Is it good that Bible verses are circulating more widely than ever, even if randomly, since their efficacy lies in the Holy Spirit, ...

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Scripture as Spam: What 5 Experts Think About Twitter Bible Bots
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