Yes, who has not heard of that setting, Tweety and the cat Sylvester, in real life duplicated by Twitter and fat cat Elon Musk. And in that setting most people will group behind the little budgie, yet is that a correct step? Reuters gives us ‘Musk says $44 bln Twitter deal on hold over fake account data’, the article (at https://www.reuters.com/technology/musk-says-44-billion-twitter-deal-hold-2022-05-13/) gives us “Musk, the world’s richest person, decided to waive due diligence when he agreed to buy Twitter on April 25, in an effort to get the San Francisco-based company to accept his “best and final offer.” This could make it harder for him to argue that Twitter somehow misled him.” I have an issue here. Face accounts in Twitter have been the setting of conversation in many nations.
Trolls, click farms, and many fake accounts, all thee to give people false impressions, to fake that some care about issues no one cares about and to create flames. The problem is that Twitter is (or should) be aware of this. The element that is overlooked is engagement, Some looked into a similar setting in Facebook and it seems nice that one can buy clicks, but when someone in Utah sees that they get 150,000 clicks and 65% are all in Sri Lanka (or some other vague location), who does it serve? The one buying the clicks, and the one facilitating the clicks and it has evolved in an actual economy. So when I see “This could make it harder for him to argue that Twitter somehow misled him”, I wonder just how delusional they are at Twitter. There is a larger need to have two books, one with all the numbers and one filtering for expected fake accounts and it is not some small issue, the numbers are deep in the double digits at present, and as far as I can tell, Twitter and its CEO Parag Agrawal should know better. And now that we see “The estimated number of spam accounts on the microblogging site has held steady below 5% since 2013, according to regulatory filings from Twitter, prompting some analysts to question why Musk was raising it now. “This 5% metric has been out for some time. He clearly would have already seen it … So it may well be more part of the strategy to lower the price,” said Susannah Streeter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.” In this I wonder what (and how much) Susannah Streeter is getting paid for that view? I personally reckon that it has not been as low as 5% since 2 October 2018, when that columnist that no one gives a fuck about went missing, you know the one. And since the events Covid (2019) and The Russian invasion in Ukraine (2022) we are confronted with an even larger explosion of fake accounts. So when I see “The estimated number of spam accounts on the microblogging site has held steady below 5% since 2013”, my slightly less diplomatic view will be “Give me a fucking break please”.
If there is one side where Parag Agrawal failed it will be to set a more realistic side to finding and creating a clear marker for fake accounts. Now, I get it, it will not be a simple setting, but I think we can agree that even Mother Goose will not tell the children in Digital Sleepy Town that 5% is realistic, no one is THAT delusional.
So when we see “prompting some analysts to question why Musk was raising it now”, the answer is rather simple, the analysts should have raised it themselves at any time since 2018 and who did? I reckon that list is rather short, perhaps non-existent.
So as some are willing to blame fat cat Sylvester, there are plenty of indications that Twitter is hiding behind some granny knowing that it was wrong from the very beginning.