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The authors study automation in social networks using protocols. They introduce a generic social protocol which addresses the basic problem of making a determination of status regarding an entity in the social network (e.g., an event such as a party, a conference, a demonstration, a commercial offer etc.). The generic protocol can be modified into a wide variety of concrete protocols corresponding to likely usages, using programming-like and sometimes query-based features such as deadlines and forwarding privileges. The high usefulness of the protocol is demonstrated through examples of concrete protocols, and a prototype implementation over Twitter is presented.
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