GitHub Follower Bot (WIP)
Work In Progress
This bot is a WIP. There are still many features I plan to add and code I need to improve (I’m still fairly new to Python). I am uploading early to show progress and ensure others understand I didn’t just copy and paste code (specifically the bot code) from another source.
The bot technically works, but it is missing the following features that will be added.
- No auto-purge functionality for users you’re following (e.g. unfollow them after a period of days).
- A better randomized waiting time system including “active hours”.
- Unexpected behavior is possible.
A few months ago, I discovered a few GitHub users following over 100K users who were obviously using bots. At first I was shocked because I thought GitHub was against massive following users, but after reading more into it, it appears they don’t mind. This had me thinking what if I started following random users as well. Some of these users had a single GitHub.io project that received a lot of attention and I’d assume it’s from all the users they were following. I decided to try this. I wanted to see if it’d help me connect with other developers and it certainly did/has! Personally, I haven’t used a bot to achieve this, I was actually going through lists of followers from other accounts and following random users. As you’d expect, this completely cluttered my home page, but it also allowed me to discover new projects which was neat in my opinion.
While this is technically ‘spam’, the good thing I’ve noticed is it certainly doesn’t impact the user I’m followiing much other than adding a single line in their home page stating I’m following them (or them receiving an email stating this if they have that on). Though, I could see this becoming annoying if many people/bots started doing it (perhaps GitHub could add a user setting that has a maximum following count of a user who can follow them or receive notifications when the user follows).
I actually think it’s neat this is allowed so far because it allows others to discover your projects. Since I have quite a few networking projects on this account, I’ve had some people reach out who I followed stating they found my projects neat because they aren’t into that field.
I also wouldn’t support empty profiles made just for the purpose of mass following.
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK
Even though it appears GitHub doesn’t mind users massive following others (which I again, support), this is still considered a spam tactic. Therefore, please use this tool at your own risk. I’m not even going to be using it myself because I do enjoy manually following users.
This is a GitHub Follower Bot made inside of a Django application. Management of the bot is done inside of Django’s default admin center. The bot itself runs in the background of the Django application.
The bot works as the following.
- Runs as a background task in the Django application.
- Management of bot is done in the Django application’s web admin center.
- After installing, add users.
- After adding starting users, add them to the target and seed users list (the target user is the user who will be following others and the seed user is used to start off the spread of the invite list based off of the user’s followers list).
- New/least updated users are parsed first up to the max users setting value followed by a random range wait time.
- A task is ran in the background for parsed users to make sure they’re being followed by target users.
- Each follow and unfollow is followed by a random range wait time.
The following Python models are required and I’d recommend Python version 3.8 or above since that’s what I’ve tested with.
You can install them like the below.
# Python < 3 python -m pip install django python -m pip install aiohttp pip install django pip install aiohttp # Python >= 3 python3 -m pip install django python3 -m pip install aiohttp pip3 install django pip3 install aiohttp
Installation should be performed like a regular Django application. This application uses SQLite as the database. You can read more about Django here. I would recommend the following commands.
# Make sure Django and aiohttp are installed for this user. # Clone repository. git clone https://github.com/gamemann/GitHub-Follower-Bot.git # Change directory to Django application. cd GitHub-Follower-Bot/src/github_follower # Migrate database. python3 manage.py migrate # Run the development server on any IP (0.0.0.0) as port 8000. python3 manage.py runserver 0.0.0.0:8000
While you could technically run the Django application’s development server for this bot since only the settings are configured through there, Django recommends reading this for production use.
Inside of the web interface, a settings model should be visible. The following settings should be inserted.
- max_scan_users – The maximum users to parse at once before waiting for scan time.
- wait_time_follow_min – The minimum number of seconds to wait after following or unfollowing a user.
- wait_time_follow_max – The maximum number of seconds to wait after following or unfollowing a user.
- wait_time_list_min – The minimum number of seconds to wait after parsing a user’s followers page.
- wait_time_list_max – The maximum number of seconds to wait after parsing a user’s followers page.
- scan_time_min – The minimum number of seconds to wait after parsing a batch of users.
- scan_time_max – The maximum number of seconds to wait after parsing a batch of users.
- follow – Whether to follow users or not (should be “True” or “False”).
- verbose – Whether to output additional information (should be “True” or “False”).