The Eternal Robot Love Story of @badpng and @pixelsorter


About two weeks ago I made a bot called @pixelsorter. It sorts the pixels of images tweeted at it, can take multiple parameters (read how to use it here), and was featured on Vice's Creators Project (!). Here are some images from a larger Imgur album:


Now, Twitter bot magicians @thricedotted and @mcclure111 collaborated to create another bot. This bot was called @badpng. It distorts images by running them through a faulty PNG compression algorithm, which look like this:

@badpng and @pixelsorter

Yesterday, I decided to tweet an image at both @badpng and @pixelsorter. I've tried this before--usually what happens is that @badpng takes the image, distorts it, and then passes it off to @pixelsorter, who then returns the image innocuously.

That didn't happen. Instead, @badpng tweeted back at me and @pixelsorter directly:

And then @pixelsorter responded:

And so did @badpng:

And it went on:

And on:

And on...:

Soon, @thricedotted noticed: And it kept going.

Finally, the noise stopped when @thricedotted halted @badpng so that Twitter wouldn't hush our bots, and we landed on this final image: