“Dead internet” warning: Human and bot activity in equal proportion

Sites like Twitter/X are overrun by automated accounts

2 mins read
"Dead internet" warning: Human and bot activity in equal proportion

While some fear the internet is dying, a major new report shows that people now share the internet equally with bots.

In recent months, the “dead internet theory” has gained new popularity. This theory suggests that much of the content on the internet is in fact auto-generated and that the number of people on the internet is decreasing compared to bot accounts.

According to a new report by cybersecurity company Imperva, this theory is becoming more and more true. The “Bad Bot Report” shows that almost half, 49.6 percent, of all internet traffic last year came from bots.

This is a 2 percent increase compared to the previous year and the highest figure since the report began in 2013.

In some countries the picture is even worse. In Ireland, 71 percent of internet traffic is automated.

Part of this increase is a result of the adoption of generative AI and big language models. The companies building these systems rely on bots that scan the internet and collect data that can be used to train AI and language models.

Imperva warned that some of these bots are becoming increasingly sophisticated. More and more are coming from residential internet connections, making them appear more legitimate.

“Automated bots will soon surpass the proportion of internet traffic coming from humans and change the way organizations approach building and protecting their websites and applications,” said Nanhi Singh, general manager of application security at Imperva.

As AI-enabled vehicles increase, bots will become ubiquitous.

The widespread use of bots is already causing problems for online services like X, formerly known as Twitter. Popular posts on the site receive an enormous number of comments from accounts advertising pornography, and the company appears to be struggling to limit them.

Elon Musk, the platform’s owner, recently said that the site will start charging users to post and interact with others. He said it was the only way to stop the proliferation of automated accounts.

But X is not the only site affected by automated content that appears to be real. Facebook and TikTok, for example, are also spreading many similar posts.


The ancient idea tries to provide the most accurate information to its readers in all the content it publishes.