​A Bot Is Tweeting All 2.6 Million Words of the Chilcot Report

It'll be done quicker than the report took to write in the first place.

by Joseph Cox
Jul 6 2016, 2:20pm

Image: Chatham House/Wikimedia Commons

It's finally here. After seven years and a bill of £10 million, the long-awaited Chilcot report, formally known as the Iraq Inquiry, has been published. The report takes an unprecedented look into the build-up and aftermath of the UK's involvement in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

What better way to digest the mountain of material, totalling around 2.6 million words, than with a bot that regurgitates it one tweet at a time?

That's the sole purpose of the aptly-named Chilcot Bot, which seemingly went live on Wednesday, less than an hour after the report was published.

At the time of writing, Chilcot bot has tweeted just over 20 times. According to some haphazard back-of-the-envelope (read: Slack channel) maths, it still has a way to go tweet out the full report.

The mean tweet size of the first 20 tweets is around 22 words. Based on this average, it'll take around 118,182 tweets to fit in the whole 2.6 million words.

The first tweet was sent at 12:40 PM, with the 20th tweet coming in at 2:11 PM. If the bot continues at this posting rate—around four and a half minutes per tweet—it should be done in 531,819 minutes time. Or 8,863 hours. Or 369 days, so just over a year.

Obviously, following the report along in this manner probably isn't the most efficient way to read it. But amazingly, the bot will be done somehow quicker than the report took to write in the first place.