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One of the coolest Twitter bots commands: @AltTextCrew OCR please

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/10/28

Twitter account [Archive.is] @AltTextCrew is cool: it can OCR text from images, which is great for visually impaired people.

Just answer a tweet containing such an image and it replies with a series of tweets with the texts of that image.

@AltTextCrew OCR please

You can also have it check and analyse the links from a tweet, just reply this to that tweet:

@AltTextCrew analyze links

[Archive.is] @hbeckpdx is the driving force behind both @AltTextCrew and [Archive.is] @AltTxtReminder:

Edit 20220510: AltTxtReminder got open sourced!

Below are two examples of @AltTextCrew usage:

OCR

  • image: [Archive.is] databass 🏳️‍⚧️⚢ on Twitter: “@AltTextCrew OCR please… “

  • text: [Wayback] Thread by @AltTextCrew on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App

    Text 1/5:
    CVE-2021-20022 Arbitrary file upload through post- authenticated “branding” feature Like many enterprise products with a web- based user interface, SonicWall Email Security includes a feature known as
    Text 2/5:
    “branding” which gives administrators the ability to customize and add certain assets to the interface, such as company logos. These branding assets are managed via packages, and new packages can be
    Text 3/5:
    created by uploading ZIP archives containing custom text, image files, and layout settings. A lack of file validation can enable an adversary to upload arbitrary files, including executable code, such
    Text 4/5:
    as web shells. Once uploaded, these branding package ZIP archives are normally expanded and saved to the <SonicWall ES install path>\data\branding directory. However, an adversary could place
    Text 5/5:
    malicious files in arbitrary locations, such as a web accessible Apache Tomcat directory, by crafting a ZIP

Link analysis

Explanation

I really want to know what programming languages, frameworks, libraries and APIs they use for this bot.

Edit 20211028:

It uses the Google Vision API, as Tesseract was too slow and inaccurate:

Edit 20211211:

Note that usually the text will be published in the alt tag of the images:

[Archive] Hannah Kolbeck 🏳️‍⚧️ on Twitter: “@jpluimers @AltTextCrew No, it always prefers to tweet images with alt text. Right now if the ocr result from the targeted tweet is too long to fit in 4 images worth it will fall back to posting a thread.” / Twitter

–jeroen


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