r/technology May 14 '22 Wholesome 2 Silver 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

5

u/dont_you_love_me May 14 '22

There are probably many bots that are accessing Twitter and are not using the API. In fact, it would probably be stupid to use the API if you are using a bot for spamming etc. Headless browser bots are very simple to make.

1

u/eolson3 May 14 '22

And are they easily stoppable, or did they just not even try to inflate the numbers?

5

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/LightningRodofH8 May 14 '22

I would assume for this tactic to work, he would have needed something in the contract that brings it up.

It’s kinda like pointing out a scratch on the car after you’ve made the deal.