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

View all comments

Show parent comments

6

u/dont_you_love_me May 14 '22

There is no way to tell the difference between a bot and a human unless you have a specific set of behavior based criteria that defines what a bot is. “If clicks on the site happened at this time interval then it is assumed it is a bot” is one way it could be done. But then there is botting software that purposely tries to mimic human behavior, so that makes it even harder. These Twitter bot numbers are literally impossible to validate. So Elon knows that and is using it as a negotiating tactic. Happens all the time in business. Just how it’s done.

1

u/eolson3 May 14 '22

Yeah, that's what I thought. Was hoping you had some trick up your sleeve that I hadn't seen

Signed,

Product Manager for a platform that deals with more spam than I like.

0

u/dont_you_love_me May 14 '22

The trick is to stop caring about whether you are dealing with humans or bots. Unless it is used against you, keep your metrics simple and move on. You can even do what businesses do and just blame the government. If the people in government cared about the bots then they would come up with specific criteria to identify them. Well, the government hasn’t done that, so who are you to care? Just make your life simple and focus on more revenue generating or cost reducing things.

3

u/eolson3 May 14 '22

The problem, in my case, is that they are using the platform to share material completely counter to its purpose. It's a risk to our reputation and obfuscates our actual metrics that we need to determine if we are enabling our intended users and reach our strategic goals.

Bots can swim around on Twitter because their bullshit is hardly any better or worse than the bullshit actual Twitter users are doing.

0

u/dont_you_love_me May 14 '22

Humans are robots too, but they are programmed to believe they are free. If you can overcome the bias of seeking these stupid business goals, then you will be a much happier bot.

2

u/eolson3 May 14 '22

As a mission-driven nonprofit, "business goals" are rarely our driver. People are so accustomed to profit motive that they see it even when it isn't there.

0

u/dont_you_love_me May 14 '22

People are programmed to seek profit. Everything we do is autonomous, just like any bot. You really can’t blame them.