Bot to tweet randomly generated P.E.I. headlines ad infinitum

A P.E.I. news junkie has created a Twitter bot that randomly generates headlines that resemble — sometimes — things that might actually make news on the Island.

'I think it's mostly about where we live'

Neal Gillis says @PEIheadlines is ready to go solo. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

A P.E.I. news junkie has created a Twitter bot that randomly generates headlines that resemble — sometimes — things that might actually make news on the Island.

Neal Gillis was inspired by other bots that randomly generate tweets.

The headlines use a simple syntax — somebody doing something — then Gillis created a list of somebodies, a list of things they might be doing, and a list of somethings.

He ran some test runs on the bot, and set it loose in the wild on Friday.

It was only ever meant to be a bit of fun. The account is clearly labelled as a bot. He shared it with a few friends. They liked what they saw, and they began to share it.

By Tuesday morning the account had more than 200 followers.

"I think it's mostly about where we live," said Gillis of @PEIheadlines.

"I grew up watching Compass and listening to CBC Radio and reading The Guardian and after a while you find some patterns in what our news looks like. And we're really lucky to live in a place where headlines like this could actually be news."

Gillis said beta is over for @PEIheadlines, and he's ready to walk away and let it run for as long as Twitter exists.

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With files from Island Morning