Tag Archives: James Clayton

Is it intentional ignorance?

I saw an article yesterday. It was ‘Doubts cast over Elon Musk’s Twitter bot claims’. The article (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-62571733) was seemingly eager to attack Elon Musk’s side, but the same media has not now or ever asked serious and critical questions on the Twitter side. But lets start here, those who read my articles know I have had a larger issue with Twitter for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I like Twitter. I like it a lot more than Facebook. As such I have issues. If it isn’t with their new bully tactics of suggestion topics, without switching that nuisance off in the profile setting, then it would be with the attitude they take on fake accounts, as well as the delusional stage that it does not go beyond 5%. People I have been in contact with and THEY have data shows it to be well over 40%. I personally found 40% high, but they have data and they have data on Russian trolls and fake accounts pushing Russian ‘needs’ regarding the Ukrainian war to be in the thousands of trolls each of them using a massive amounts of click farm numbers. And it does not matter whether Twitter deactivates these accounts. The trolls have more and new methods of creating thousands more each minute. It shows in the first that the 5% Twitter claimed is bogus, more important it shows my initial thoughts that if it can be proven that it is well over double, we have a situation that Twitter has been overvaluing itself for a very long time. The data that places like Trollrensics has, shows this to have been the case for over 5 years, long before the Elon Musk events started. 

But back to the article. There we see “Botometer – an online tool that tracks spam and fake accounts – was used by Mr Musk in a countersuit against Twitter. Using the tool, Mr Musk’s team estimated that 33% of “visible accounts” on the social media platform were “false or spam accounts”.” OK, that is one side to go. I would personally advice Elon to take a step out of his circle and talk to Trollrensics. You see, they have been monitoring and recording events on the Ukrainian war (as well as Russian trolls) for a long time. Now consider that there should be some overlap. But take two circles (like below) we see the two solutions, the overlap is speculative on how much they overlap. 

They are different solutions for different options. As such the overlap cannot be 100%, in theory the second image could exist, but we can prove that, or better stated Elon Musk could prove this. You see, when the two lists of accounts are set together, Twitter has a problem, if image one is true, Twitter’s problem increases by well over 100%, it also blasts the 5% claim out of the water. 

If image 2 is true, Twitter has optionally a smaller issue, but Trollrensics has numbers stating over 40% of all accounts are fake, if so it will be a list supporting the case of Elon Musk, and well over 5%, Twitter will have a hard time opposing that much data.

And now we see in the article a strange event. With “However, Botometer creator and maintainer, Kaicheng Yang, said the figure “doesn’t mean anything”. Mr Yang questioned the methodology used by Mr Musk’s team, and told the BBC they had not approached him before using the tool. 

Mr Musk is currently in dispute with Twitter, after trying to pull out of a deal to purchase the company for $44bn (£36.6bn).” The readers will wonder what is going on, but no fear the BBC did its homework and we see that a little further below with “Botometer is a tool that uses several indicators, like when and how often an account tweets and the content of the posts, to create a bot “score” out of five. A score of zero indicates a Twitter account is unlikely to be a bot, and a five suggests that it is unlikely to be a human. However, researchers say the tool does not give a definitive answer as to whether or not an account is a bot. “In order to estimate the prevalence [of bots] you need to choose a threshold to cut the score,” says Mr Yang.” Now to me this makes sense, but there is a hidden trap. The numbers tend to be less reliable when a hybrid model exists. Let me try to make an image as below.

The hybrid system has three parts. The core (the foundation of that troll system) but it connects to real accounts. The accounts are real, tools like Qanon or whatever tool out there exists to gain coin and perhaps hoping that they are the false prophets that they once hope to become. Trolls and hackers give them a nice little tag and now the troll core has one real account that links to a whole range of people and click farms to like by the thousands and as this hybrid model can go more than one level deep and  consists of an unnamed amount of groups, Botometer and Twitter tools are (speculatively) in a mess, they now can no longer really decide on how real these groups are, and if the troll is intelligent and makes a slightly different message for each group, it can continue almost unabated. Still the Botometer is methodically sound to get the stupid accounts found and there are a whole range of them. Hundreds of thousands of limited click farm accounts, they should be found decently easily. And there I think is Elon Musk, he found the simple ones and he comes to 30%. The stage is real and the fact that is open to debate and moreover starts question the Twitter side of thinks is important. The article has more “Clayton Davis, a data scientist who worked on the project, says the system uses machine learning, and factors like tweet regularity and linguistic variability, as well as other telltale signs of robotic behaviour.” I agree with Clayton and there is also a larger issue. ‘Tweet regularity’ is real but debatable. You see it depends on interaction and time stations. A person has a shifting set. The person who looks at a tweet at 03:00 and retweets it because it is a friend, is different from the same person who is in the office at 11:00 and sees the same or a different tweet. There are more sides to that person, dynamic qualities and I wonder if a learning machine can learn (read: be taught) this. Not telling it cannot, I merely wonder and that makes it harder, than the time zones shift for the travelling person. All elements that can play a role. So when we get “In 2017, the group of academics behind the tool published a paper that estimated that between 9% and 15% of active Twitter accounts were bots.” Which is interesting for me as I considered the number to be around 20%, still that makes it 400% larger than Twitter’s claim, so Twitter does have a problem. And then the gem of the BBC article comes into play. With “Some bot experts claim Twitter has a vested interest in undercounting fake accounts. “Twitter has slightly conflicting priorities,” says Mr Davis. “On the one hand, they care about credibility. They want people to think that the engagements are real on Twitter. But they also care about having high user numbers.”

The vast majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from advertising, and the more daily active users it has, the more it can charge advertisers.” Or as I would state it, there is your Dorsey factor and that part shows both that Twitter is in deep trouble and also that Elon Musk was right all along. There is still a larger debate on how large that stage is, but if proof can be shown that the fake accounts exceed 9%-11% Elon Musk wins and Twitter gets to have a large problem. What I said all along, Twitter is bound to lose this and the media supporting Twitter for their own needs are likely to lose credibility by the day at that point.

A stage that was out in the open and has been for a few years. It was my view and the view of several I knew and now that we are proven correctly, I wonder under which rock the media will hide. The law sees intentional ignorance as a right, a legal station where we are allowed to keep ourselves ignorant, but should the media be allowed that very same thing? I will let you ponder that side of the equation, because it will come out in the open. In the mean time I will consider a few idea’s on Neom and the line bubble to the surface. Perhaps I should have a conversation with Saudi Arabia’s consul general in Sydney, Mashare Ben Naheet. If I am correct it might be worth a few million to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and I could use the money (I need to pay my bar bill sooner then I would like). 

The problems of old age, they come into play at the least comfortable times.

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Slippery slope

There are feelings of satisfaction to be heard, and you can hear them everywhere. The setting that ‘UK government sets out plans to rein in Big Tech’ but they are loud noises, having only negative impacts. The BBC reports (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-61342576) “The new Digital Markets Unit (DMU) will be given powers to clamp down on “predatory practices” of some firms. The regulator will also have the power to fine companies up to 10% of their global turnover if they fail to comply.” My problem is not the merely the statement, it is the clear definition of what constitutes ‘predatory practices’, you see it is nice to see “Google and Facebook”, but where is Microsoft in all this? Then we get the debatable setting of “Digital minister Chris Philp said the government wanted to “level the playing field” in the technology industry, in which a few American companies have been accused of abusing their market dominance.” I wonder how delusional Chris Philp really is. Levelling the playing field? How about the others learn a trade? How about the magpies of the tech industry grow a pair and actually set innovation in motion? Is that too much to ask for? And this short sightedness will cost the EU and the UK a lot more than they figure on. Whilst we see failure after failure by Microsoft. You remember them? The people who pushed Netscape out of business, where was the level playing field then? And in all this the setting of predatory practices is not explained, it is a mere emotional stage setting. I now have over half a dozen tech IP, you think I will share that with Microsoft morons? Do you think I will set it in the UK? Then we get “It added it wants news publishers to be paid fairly for their content – and will give the regulator power to resolve conflicts.” Did anyone consider that news agencies do not have to put their materials on Facebook? I have received all kinds of links. The Dutch Telegraaf, the Australian Courier Mail and when ever I open these messages that I never asked for I get (see image below). And they are not the only one. It is the news publishers way to advertise and who pays for that advertisement? 

It seems that we see a one sided story without too much investigations and explanations, so are we surprised that Apple, Google and Meta are not responding? 

Then we get the danger setting, we are given “It will also make it easier for people to switch between phone operating systems such as Apple iOS or Android and social media accounts, without losing data and messages.” Did anyone consider that it will be playing in the hands of organised crime? Did anyone investigate the claims of these so called critics? With complete disclosure of their identities and their educational skills? So when we are given “The UK government said its new rules could increase the “bargaining power” of national and regional newspapers.” I believe that these players are realising that they are no longer relevant and that some will vanish when Meta becomes a reality. And in that stage Chris Philp is reduced to a simple tool, a tool of the greedy who suddenly realise that before they get to the end of their lives, the well dried up. No one is setting the stage that Google Ads is the most fair and the most engaging form of advertising, it offered the advertiser value and choice, something they never had in the past. And Microsoft was nowhere to be seem and when they did come their product was just too mediocre. 

But that is not the big issue, the big issue is that it opens the stage for Chinese solutions that are nowhere in the UK and where the UK has no say over it and that stage is forgotten until it is too late. The internet is global and how long until the people go to a .cn location for their social interactions, their news and their ‘solutions’? How long until these same tech bitches start crying that the bulk of revenue is now going to China? The UK is embarking on one of the most slippery slopes and the news outlets no longer have credibility (with the exception of the Times and the Guardian), so how long until the people are smitten with Chinese glamour magazines? With Chinese news and with Chinese solutions? You think it is never going to happen? Think again, Tik Tok is a Chinese innovation, and they have a pipeline of innovations ready to deploy. So whilst the DMU and debatable ‘critics’ attack the practices of Google, Meta and Apple. Make sure you see the whole field. We do not want to switch between iOS and Android. I am an Android user and that is where I stay. I have nothing against Apple, I have their iPad Air and I am happy with it, after the 1st generation iPad this was a step up and I love it. But I have no intention to get the iPhone and I am not alone, just as there are iPhone users who have zero intentions to switch to Android, as such I see “It will also make it easier for people to switch between phone operating systems such as Apple iOS or Android” as a facilitation towards others, not users, as such the issues with this article stacks up and before I forget it, I can export my phone data to all kinds of solutions and Apple has the same, so who is Chris Philp catering to? In that stage I have a few additional questions for the writer James Clayton. We see a limited view on a stage that is kept partly in the dark, why is that? 

I will let you ponder that part of the equation.

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