Elon Musk really doesn’t like bots
The Tesla (TSLA) – Get the Tesla Inc report CEO, who is looking to buy Twitter (TWTR) – Get the report from Twitter, Inc.took to the microblogging site on April 21 to express his extreme distaste for automated accounts that tweet and retweet content.
“Authenticate All Real Humans”
“If our Twitter auction succeeds, we’ll beat the spambots or die trying!” Musk declared.
In a follow-up tweetthe richest man in the world said, “And authenticate all real humans.”
Musk said he is still interested in negotiating the purchase of Twitter, but has not yet determined whether he will take his now $46.5 billion offer directly to shareholders.
Musk also spoke about the bot situation earlier this month during a TED interview with Chris Anderson.
“I mean, frankly, a top priority that I would have would be to weed out the spam and scam bots and the armies of bots that are on Twitter,” he said. “I think those influences… They make the product a whole lot worse. If I had one dogecoin for every crypto scam I saw, I’d have a hundred billion dogecoin.”
Michael Saylor, President and CEO of MicroStrategy (MSTR) – Get Class A report from MicroStrategy Incorporatedwas one of several commenters who responded to Musk’s anti-bot tweet.
“Twitter can solve the problem of scammers and bots if they allow real humans to be verified with Orange Check by posting a one-time deposit,” he said. “Next, limit comments/DMs to verified accounts. Reported bad actors and spambots lose their deposit and @Twitter monetizes malevolence.”
Ban pro-Russian hashtag
“Have you ever thought that maybe your billions could, oh, I don’t know, maybe help society? another the poster said. “No, I’m sure you didn’t.”
“Elon, I’m afraid my subscriber count will drop below 100 if you beat the spambots,” a commentator mentioned.
“How can we ensure that people in at-risk regions who must be under pseudonyms enjoy the freedom to speak the truth while authenticating that they are real humans without blowing their cover?” another person asked.
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Last month, Twitter banned more than 100 accounts that pushed the pro-Russian hashtag #IStandWithPutin for engaging in “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” CNBC reported.
In 2020, the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, a Carnegie Mellon University report found that almost half of Twitter accounts discussing “reopening America”, which during the lockdown were probably bots.
“Twittering more frequently than humanly possible, or popping up in one country and then another a few hours later, is indicative of a bot,” said Kathleen Carley, a computer science professor at the university.
In September, Twitter said in a blog post that while not all bots are bad, the bots its Platform Integrity team deals with “are usually fake accounts deliberately created to misrepresent information or manipulate people on Twitter.”
“We cannot solve these challenges alone”
The company said it held its first algorithmic bias bounty challenge.
He called on the ethical AI hacker community to take apart Twitter’s algorithm to identify biases and other potential harm within it.
“The results of their findings confirmed our hypothesis,” Twitter said“We cannot solve these problems alone, and our understanding of biases in AI can be improved when diverse voices can contribute to the conversation.”
Did Musk himself benefit from bots?
David A. Kirsch, a professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, addressed this issue in a series of tweets earlier this month.
Kirsch mentioned “Looking at tweets from Tesla’s IPO through 2020, we found a set of accounts that did not exhibit human behavior… Using Botometer https://botometer.osome.iu.edu. .. we have identified these accounts as users programmed to generate pro-Tesla content.”
“This imbalance suggests that fanbots were a strategic resource supporting Tesla’s narrative.”
Several Twitter users disputed Kirsh’s findings, with a person declaring “Your methodology seems very flawed.”
“Elon Musk is a 3.6, probably a bot,” the commenter said. “I’m a .6, but you claim I’m part of Elon’s robot army. You seem like a person with an answer looking for confirmation, regardless of the facts.”