An anonymous reader writes: The Web Ecology Project have run the first ever competion to test the large scale robotic influence of online social groups. Teams programed bots to control Twitter accounts in a brutal, two-week, all-out, no-holds-barred battle to influence an unsuspecting cluster of 500 online users. Points were given for connections created by the bots and the social behaviors they are able to elicit among the targets. Three teams took part in the competion with $500 prize money. After a week the teams were allowed to fine-tune their bot's programming and launch secondary bots to take down their competitors, with JamesMTitus being targeted by a British secondary bot. When one user confronted it, the JamesMTitus gave vague responses, such as "Right on bro", evading detection. The bot, programmed by a group of New Zealanders, garnered 109 followers in two weeks, winning the competition.