Twitter gives in, it’s your chance or it will fall

Twitter has yielded to pressure from Elon Musk so that the businessman has access to all the tweets published daily, which are around 500 million, and “to be able to know” how many false accounts and bots exist within the social network that is least growing and fewer followers among the big ones.

No one is unaware that this social platform has not had the growth expected by investors for several years, since it does not have a firm business model that really helps it earn what TikTok or Instagram adds each quarter, and this is the opportunity to that it is sold and a change comes that could benefit it or lead it to definitive extinction.

For weeks, Musk has pressed Twitter to provide data that would allow the South African businessman to test whether a significant portion of the platform’s users are fake bot accounts, something he believes would lower the price he’d be willing to pay for the technology. business. The owner of Tesla and SpaceX maintains that fake accounts represent more than 5.0% of the Twitter user base, something that even critics of the South African believe to be true, and he wants the company to deny it.

Twitter has reported a lower number of inauthentic accounts in its financial results and, The Washington Post reported this weekend, is willing to give Musk access to all tweets posted daily, along with granular user information, to allow him to search inauthentic behaviors.

Twitter’s apparent willingness to grant Musk access to the data stream comes days after the suitor’s lawyers sent a letter to the company saying it was “actively resisting and thwarting (Musk’s) information rights” and threatening to withdraw from the deal.

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For some analysts whom I have asked if Musk will really get what he wants with the data that has been provided to him and if this does not mean that he gains access for the privacy and security of everyday users, they assure that discovering the nature of fake accounts is not that simple and that privacy is not at risk if access is limited in time.

Giving Elon Musk access to what Twitter calls Firehose is for him to prove his claims about the abundance of bots, but due to the nature of new technologies, it will be very difficult.

Being able to identify what makes a bot a bot has been a hotly debated topic in academia, which is why they’re skeptical that access to all published tweets will answer the question definitively enough to convince Musk to go ahead with the purchase.

People tend to overestimate how easy it is to spot bots. A tool like this (Firehose) won’t let Musk do that, unless he combines it with other investigative methods. I don’t think that’s something that, in the current context, Musk is going to have time to make a quick decision on.

The entrepreneur and his team could analyze the data to see if accounts spammed the same message or if a small number of accounts were responsible for the majority of tweets on the platform, both of which would be potential warning signs of spam behavior. bots. But it won’t be enough.

This could lead to Musk continuing his refusal to buy the social network, but by having access to this information to which he has been granted access, he will gain free visibility into the topics and information needs that users demand, which could be used by him or his companies in the future.

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The famous fire hose could give the Tesla owner new insights into who uses Twitter and why, how long-term usage patterns change, and what problematic behaviors users engage in, as well as generating detailed profiles of interests and networks. of the users.

If you have access to this information for months or more, that will become a privacy and user ethics concern, and that will be counterproductive for Twitter, which, in addition to not being bought, will lose more credibility among its investors.