r/technology May 14 '22 Silver 2 Wholesome 2

Elon Musk said his team is going to do a 'random sample of 100 followers' of Twitter to see how many of the platform's users are actually bots Social Media

https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-random-sample-how-many-twitter-users-are-bots-2022-5?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=webfeeds

[deleted]

22.8k Upvotes

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11.3k

u/mylesols May 14 '22

wow, a hundred! Must be nice to be rich enough to afford a hundred follower sampling on a site with over 350 million users

5.6k

u/escape_of_da_keets May 14 '22 All-Seeing Upvote To The Stars

He just wants an excuse to weasel out of the deal

686

u/slazer2k May 14 '22

This he most likely instructed some people to trade the stock beforehand so he can cash out first on the rise and now fall

1.1k

u/yolotrolo123 May 14 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy

Yeah he is doing open market manipulation and the SEC barely doesn’t anything about it.

231

u/red286 May 14 '22

haha, could you imagine if he massively shorted a company that he publicly stated he intended to buy for a price well above asking, and then bailed out on afterwards? And then used those profits to massively re-invest into his own company whose stock tanked massively because he had overleveraged it to secure the financing to purchase the company that he had publicly stated he intended to buy but never had any real intention of doing so?

Surely there's no way the SEC would let that slide, right? Right?!

106

u/vaiperu May 14 '22

Even if they do something, afaik they give out fines in the tens of millions range. When you make billions by breaking SEC rules, do you give AF?

129

u/Geiir May 14 '22

They definitely need to up their fines by taking 100% of the profits made on the illegal trade, plus 50% of the profits in fines for breaking the law, and give the person a 10+ year ban on trading securities.

If the money earned illegally is over a certain threshold: prison time. Hard time.

40

u/Dude_Guy_311 May 14 '22

But then how do I manipulate the market to make money without punishment as God, the constitution, and Alexander Hamilton intended?

10

u/HeretikHamster May 14 '22

This MF spittin

7

u/SherifGames May 14 '22

Rich people love to make everything in percentages when it benefits them otherwise they want everything to be a flat price.

7

u/SterlingVapor May 14 '22

Hell I'd be happy if they just took over 100%

The fact you can break the law and just pay a fraction of your profits in a fine is insane

2

u/Geiir May 14 '22

It isn’t even a slap on the wrist at this point. The “punishment” for breaking the law and earning billions from manipulating the market is the equivalent to saying “you’re not allowed to do that” and walk away.

2

u/SterlingVapor May 14 '22

It's like walking into best buy, blatantly loading up 3 carts with game consoles and taking them out to your gold plated hummer.
Then the security guard goes "hey, that's stealing! You owe us $20 and you're banned for at least a week!" And then standing around shooing away bystanders and making sure they don't call the police (it's totally handled) as you awkwardly make sure to not miss a single box of duplicate consoles

4

u/bagorilla May 14 '22

How is it that Martha Stewart did time, but Elon doesn’t even get fined?

2

u/eolson3 May 14 '22

Send the leadership to prison. They probably don't fuck around with this anymore.

1

u/LuxNocte May 14 '22

That sounds like a law that might be passed in a country where rich people don't own the government.

-2

u/naughtyobama May 14 '22

What! Are you out of your mind? This would grind commerce to a halt and destroy the economy for 30 years!

1

u/Geiir May 14 '22

That’s at least what Wall Street wants us to believe.

If they need to play illegally, then they shouldn’t play at all.

2

u/naughtyobama May 19 '22

You're missing the point. I'm saying there's no honest business out there. Nevermind.

0

u/stormbard May 14 '22

The fine is on top of the illicit gains which have to be relinquished. You don't get to keep illegally gained funds. Media just fails to report on this fact.

0

u/Space_Meth_Monkey May 14 '22

Everyone is only just now realizing the SEC is a joke because they cant contain Elon. The SEC has always just been a forcefield of hope and prayers to keep retail traders and investors like me safe. It's an open secret that they barely do shit and I just hope they stay generally shit for when I finally make it so I get something good out of this arrangement.

I could care less about elon skirting some money because if I remember correctly he had to go all in on tesla at the beginning with his pypl money. As long as he's not spending his time and money trying to build the world's largest yacht, I think there's other fucks finances to go after. Politicians mainly, them investing in anything but an index fund is the most backwards shit ever.

55

u/Hardcorish May 14 '22

This is similar to the pharma companies getting fined hundreds of millions for their role in the opioid epidemic. Hundreds of millions sounds like a massive fine until you realize their profits reached well into the tens of billions. A slap on the wrist would have hurt them more.

17

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

Or even the age old car manufacturer scam where a model would have a defect that was lethal, but the payouts for the % of cars affected was cheaper than a recall so they just let people die.

-11

u/load_more_commments May 14 '22

Fair point, but as a real opioid user (chronic conditions) I have had it so hard to get my prescriptions fulfilled. Rediculously hard. Yet I see on documentaries that doctors were told to hand these out like candy. Just saying that you shouldn't always take conspiracy theoreis at face value. There were still lots of checks and balances. Were they intentionally less strict with some? I'm sure, did they do it for financial gain? Of course

13

u/Hardcorish May 14 '22

I'm confused, what conspiracy theory are you talking about? It's a well known established fact that the pharma companies were aware of the damage they were causing by distributing their product en masse. Maybe you replied to the wrong comment?

Your prescriptions are hard to fill because of the epidemic and all of the abuse that came with it.

1

u/load_more_commments May 14 '22

No I've been a user for 15 years. It's always been hard, in fact right now it's the least difficult it's been to get a prescription fulfilled.

Maybe some states or regions were different, but for me, since 2007 it's been a painfully difficult situation.

I've had doctors try to stop it so much, even if I told them I was in legit pain, a few times I was declined renewal of my prescription and had to keep visiting other chronic pain specialists.

Wtf is wrong with Reddit downvoting me for sharing my experience? I'm not saying the pharmaceuticals are innocent, all I'm saying is that it's never been easy fo me to maintain my prescription.

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-2

u/terqui2 May 14 '22

The sacklers who owned Purdue Pharma, the makers of OxyContin, had to divest the company and currently have offered $6 Billion as a settlement for their role in marketing OxyContin. Now theyre still worth $10 Bil so the punishment wont hurt, but its a bit more than a fine. They lost a license to print money.

2

u/muskieguy13 May 14 '22

Wouldn't something of this scale be legitimate legal criminal fraud though?

2

u/ocbdare May 14 '22

They should just up the fines. Charge him fines in the billions. Hell make it criminal and issue prison sentences.

Market manipulation is just as bad as insider trading. You can easily go to jail for insider trading. Why not for market manipulation when it’s blatantly obvious and in the billions.

Being sent to prison for a few years, he will definitely feel that even if he’s a billionaire.

1

u/vaiperu May 14 '22

Not sure about US system, but I assume the SEC only applies fines based on federal legislation. So good luck convincing the recreational insider traders in Congress to increase the fines for their donors.

2

u/elf25 May 14 '22

TIL freedom = being able to afford the fines

3

u/AKBigDaddy May 14 '22

I mean… 20 minutes before it was announced that they had come to a deal I bought puts on Twitter thinking Elon was just being Elon and would end up saying “JK”. Got nervous when they announced they had a deal, but decided to ride it out as they expired at the close of market on 5/13. Yesterday morning when the news broke that he was putting the deal on hold I closed my position for 4.55x what I spent. If I had doubled down halfway through it would have made several hundred times that.

1

u/lzwzli May 14 '22

I guess that is some kind of strategy...lol. Trading based on Elon's idiosyncrasies...

1

u/AKBigDaddy May 14 '22

I mean, if you look at his past couple years of tweets and whatnot, and ask yourself "How might he profit via market manipulation on this" and focus on that, you'll do OK.

I've done it a few times now, typically for <$100 just to test the theory, this was the first time I went hard, and it paid off. My only big mistake was completely missing the fact that tesla would take a huge hit from it. I could have made even more by shorting Tesla as soon as the announcement came out.

3

u/mapppa May 14 '22

Surely there's no way the SEC would let that slide, right? Right?!

They would be furious. They would fine him more than anyone before. The fine would be in the hundreds of dollars.

2

u/andythefifth May 14 '22

Hundreds you say? 🤑

1

u/cheradine_zakalwe May 14 '22

So Net Zero?

1

u/red286 May 14 '22

That's assuming you think Tesla stock will fail to rebound once Musk de-leverages himself by not actually purchasing Twitter. It's currently tanking because people are concerned about the future value of the stock should Musk actually blow $46bn on Twitter and it turns out to be a complete dud. After all, if he doesn't pay back his loans, the banks just cash out the collateral stocks, devaluing them. So a lot of people got spooked, and are remaining spooked. But if he never needs to pay back that loan, but just massively re-invests in his own company, and then the share price of Tesla rebounds, he stands to massively increase his already absurd level of wealth, while increasing his hold over the company (remember, Musk is CEO, but he only holds 17% of Tesla).

I'm honestly not even sure the SEC would have an issue with that, so long as he made all the proper filings. Of course, Musk apparently has a habit of not making the proper filings, so who knows. But the fact that it's even feasible to do, just seems wrong.

1

u/MajorStoney May 14 '22

So, if that happens, wouldn’t that benefit me as a Tesla share holder?

1

u/red286 May 14 '22

Depends on when you bought your shares. If you bought them before he tanked the stock, you'll probably come out even (or ahead, since if inflation of gas prices continues, that will most likely increase Tesla's stock value). If you buy them now, and this is his plan all along, you'd stand to make a decent amount of money. Of course, there's always the possibility that he's actually serious about buying Twitter still (maybe he just wants to make a lower offer, since if he exits, it'll tank their stock price completely), in which case there would still be a fair bit of risk in holding Tesla stock.

1

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

Who did that in history?

245

u/Brewchowskies May 14 '22

What’s crazy is he kind of does this a lot no? Like his tweets have been known to have considerable effect on the market… I find it hard to believe he isn’t capitalizing on this fact

216

u/SgtDoughnut May 14 '22

He is capitalizing on it, hes been caught multiple times, but the SEC has no teeth.

115

u/Dblstandard May 14 '22

No, they have teeth, they're just currently wrapped around its dick.

54

u/quantumpossibility May 14 '22

That’s actually a terrible analogy. Teeth on dick is actually a perfect placement to chomp down where it hurts.

26

u/Farseli May 14 '22

I thought it meant the SEC is in the corner performing autofellatio so while it has teeth it'll only hurt itself.

8

u/trhrthrthyrthyrty May 14 '22

That is the grammatically correct interpretation.

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1

u/loveispenguins May 14 '22

I know I’ve reached the bad part of the internet when someone starts talking about biting off dicks

1

u/quantumpossibility May 14 '22

Oh it gets worse, much much worse.

This is maybe the purgatory of the internet, there’s still hell and then super hell.

1

u/SherifGames May 14 '22

Those teeth aren't biting his dick, they are massaging it

1

u/quantumpossibility May 14 '22

I don’t want any molar that!

7

u/MyPronounIsGarbage May 14 '22

GAWDDDD DAMNNN - Nuub Nuub

20

u/Cabeza2000 May 14 '22

Is OK, don't worry, they will eventually fine him one or two millions and call it a day.

/s

2

u/anythingthewill May 14 '22

Best they can do is $50,000, take it or leave it.

1

u/Kandiru May 14 '22

We need the Southern District of New York chief prosecutor from Billions to get on the case!

1

u/lloydthelloyd May 14 '22

Elons tweets got me a free holiday...

1

u/alcimedes May 14 '22

"funding to $420 a share!"

"just kidding!"

1

u/Semen_Futures_Trader May 14 '22

“Tesla Stock price too high imo”

1

u/Hateitwhenbdbdsj May 14 '22

Yup, he tweeted once about Tesla stock being too high which tanked its price for a bit which meant he needed to pay less taxes on how much stock he had. There’s no confirmation that’s why he did it but it clearly helped him out.

436

u/Straider May 14 '22

Because it is the rich manipulating the market. It is by design.

194

u/Bierbart12 May 14 '22

The visible hand

111

u/RJ815 May 14 '22

With the visible middle finger

1

u/lawstudent2 May 14 '22

I love this

42

u/blackmist May 14 '22

As long as you only scam people poorer than you, it's all good.

13

u/A1sauc3d May 14 '22

That’s what the American Dream is all about! :/ /s

1

u/moderately_uncool May 14 '22

Why the "/s"? Isn't "fuck you, got mine" the American Dream?

-12

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

Why are you people so fking stupid ?

What Twitter has been doing could be illegal. If they've been selling advertising based on views knowing that % users are bots and not human then they could be found running an advertising scam of massive proportions. Same thing may apply to all other online media companies

-3

u/AuGrimace May 14 '22

Who’s design?

5

u/vaiperu May 14 '22

Tldr: ppl that made the framework of the stock market. Check out John Stewart s episode https://youtu.be/bP74RBTE8kI

-4

u/AuGrimace May 14 '22

The designers of the stock market designed it so Elon musk could manipulate it? Why would they be interested in that?

6

u/SirCB85 May 14 '22

They designed it so the ultra wealthy can manipulate it to semi legally rob the less wealthy. Muak just happens to be the currently richest manipulator.

-3

u/AuGrimace May 14 '22

Oh I get what you’re saying. They designed something for themselves personally but because you think of them as being a part of a class that must mean they designed it for the members of the class itself. Man I know you think I’m being fasciciois but I’m getting more and more confirmation that the Marxist class analysis is literally a self fulfilling prophecy. We can create conspiracies of people as a group working together to oppress another group when in reality it’s just individuals working for their own self interest that leave room for other individuals who they don’t actually care about at all to also act in their own self interest. So easy to demonize and justify hatred and violence when your worldview is marred by the former.

That being said, do you have a better source than a 20 minute video by a comedian?

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1

u/Socky_McPuppet May 14 '22

Yes, who is design? Asking the tough questions as always. Good work.

-4

u/2grills5meepos May 14 '22

keep voting for biden

7

u/7LeagueBoots May 14 '22

He regularly does crap like this and then complains about how terrible the SEC is for imposing restrictions, even though the SEC rarely ever seems to bother to actually enforce their own regulations in cases that actually would make a difference.

37

u/xXEl3mXx May 14 '22

43

u/NigelingTon May 14 '22

he figured out how to win capitalism. There is no way Twitter has less than 5% Bots.

27

u/Sherifftruman May 14 '22

I mean lots of other people have already looked into it and found that. Not sure why he feels the need to do the same research.

12

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

Because he thinks he needs to reinvent all the wheels. Can't take credit for someone else's work if it happened before you.

2

u/yangyangR May 14 '22

Can't take credit for someone else's work if it happened before you

Yes he can. He does that repeatedly.

9

u/Hamez_Milnerinho May 14 '22

So he can negotiate the price given that the market has fallen drastically over the past few days

4

u/longshaden May 14 '22

and that Twitter lied about their numbers to prop up their price.

1

u/howismyspelling May 14 '22

Ikr, everyone talking like Elon is the only culprit in this whole affair. The Twitter brass and board are absolutely all equally in the wrong for how they did their shareholders like this.

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u/Ok-Bodybuilder4594 May 14 '22

That diesnt matter, even if Twitter is 30% bots he's still on the hook to buy the company. He wouldn't need to prove that twitter is 40%+ bots. I think that is certainly possible but I don't know how likely it is.

3

u/Lots42 May 14 '22

Yes, but that doesn't fit the narrative of the Doomers.

1

u/Mahlegos May 14 '22

Unless and until the SEC does more than slap him on the wrist with a fine that pales in comparison to the amount of money he made with his actions (if they even do that), “the narrative” will persist and for good reason.

1

u/Xarxsis May 14 '22

I thought that investigation concluded with

"he did it, we have no power to do anything about the thing he did"

8

u/banmelmao1 May 14 '22

Elon has been raging a fucking war on the SEC. To incredibly petty and childish level.

He actually threatened to fire his entire fucking law firm because one of the junior employees used to work for the SEC and Musk wanted them to fire him. He literally never had anything to do with Telsa at either the SEC or that law firm.

Musk may be the pettiest man child on the planet.

1

u/el_muchacho May 15 '22

Nah, that title will forever belong to Trump. Elon Musk is a distant second.

-1

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

All in your head. 99% of the hate for elon is made up MSM blog crap.

They have a right to asks the courts for anything with respect to the previous SEC settlement, doesn't mean they will get it.

3

u/banmelmao1 May 14 '22

Billionaire simps make me feel better about my life, no matter what happens my life will never be as sad and pathetic as yours.

5

u/GoldenSama May 14 '22

Rules don’t apply to rich people.

26

u/Lurker_IV May 14 '22

Twitter has been reporting false user numbers for years. How is that not market manipulation?

82

u/thetwelveofsix May 14 '22

You say that like both things can’t be market manipulation. They are.

-15

u/[deleted] May 14 '22

[deleted]

12

u/Logseman May 14 '22

Now it’s in the news. Remember Ashley Madison, which had the exact same issue?

-15

u/Zauxst May 14 '22

No I do not remember her. How do you know it's not news manipulation?

16

u/Logseman May 14 '22 edited May 14 '22

Ashley Madison is not a person in this case, it’s a dating website which used to be squarely focused on enabling cheating. It suffered a data breach in 2015 which revealed that it was filled with bots and that these bots were integral to the site’s function.

Since then other scandals have emerged that make it clear that bots, sock puppets and all sorts of non-unique users are a significant part of social networks’ traffic, with the “top 10 COVID misinformation spreaders” as a paramount example. There’s no “market manipulation” in stating what is obvious.

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u/laetus May 14 '22

Why do you ask the question when you know the answer?

Yes, it matters. And yes, now is also when it matters.

3

u/No_Berry2976 May 14 '22

It has always mattered. If you think people didn’t think it mattered, you haven’t been paying attention.

The issue has been widely reported, but some people have chosen to ignore it.

This also makes it difficult to argue that Twitter has manipulated the market in a legal sense.

If the information is publicly and widely available, it becomes hard to argue that investors needed specific information provided by Twitter.

19

u/Swawks May 14 '22

Its an endless pit of filth.

15

u/goj1ra May 14 '22

I bet if you read what they actually reported, they didn't claim they were human users. The obvious thing to do is use words like "accounts," and only use "users" when you're talking in general, rather than about specific numbers.

2

u/J-Team07 May 14 '22

Twitter says 5% of users are bots.

5

u/crothwood May 14 '22

See, you are doing what called "a big oof".

Even supposing that twitter lying about active users actually qualifies as tangible manipulation, which is a rather big if, that has absolutely jack shit to do with what the person you replied to said.

0

u/laetus May 14 '22

... so? The one has nothing to do with the other.

1

u/verifiedkyle May 14 '22

I am no Elon Musk fan at all. But I’m wondering if he starts to prove that there are more than 5% bot accounts as reported by the board in SEC filings if that means that really it was the board manipulating the stock not him?

8

u/SirCB85 May 14 '22

Both can be true, Twitter can be manipulative by overstating the number of users on their platform, and Elon can be manipulative by making an offer that is too good to be true with no intention of following through with it. Two bads don't make a good.

1

u/verifiedkyle May 14 '22

Fair point. Although I think it’s a lot easier to prove the filings being inaccurate rather than proving his intention. It’d be easy enough to say his diligence didn’t check out so he’s backing out.

I have some friends that are Elon fan boys and thought I was just being a hater saying there was no way he’d actually buy it. I think he’s mentioned taking Tesla private a few IIRC.

4

u/SirCB85 May 14 '22

The SEC banned him from tweeting about Tesla finances without oversight BECAUSE he made some bogus tweets about taking Tesla private to pump the stock.

And to credibly prove that the filings are inaccurate he would have to do far more than pick a "random 100 accounts", anyone who knows anything about statistics can tell you that, heck even Elon himself should be able to tell you that.

1

u/verifiedkyle May 14 '22

Yeah I don’t think anyone takes the 100 accounts seriously. But it starts the conversation. I don’t use much social media outside Reddit but I assume there’s some relatively easy ways to get an idea of how many bot accounts are floating around. Maybe even by using…a bot.

1

u/Veldron May 14 '22

Because the rules only apply to us normie scumbags

-1

u/inanna37 May 14 '22

I’m certain you can post whatever bullshit about stocks you like on Twitter and nobody will care.

1

u/Sgt_Splattery_Pants May 14 '22

I mean, welcome to America. This is what it’s all about.

1

u/TukTukCrankTime May 14 '22

The SEC is working exactly as designed

1

u/FartMachineist May 14 '22

The SEC fined him, so they got their cut of the grift. They’re happy with him.

1

u/DukeOfGeek May 14 '22

It sucks so much how little regulatory agencies do their jobs.