Xitter’s celebratory Super Bowl press release celebrates fake traffic

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/02/17/xitters-celebratory-super-bowl-press-release-celebrates-fake-traffic.html


I saw the stat earlier, that 75%+ of traffic was bot-driven (as opposed to less than 3% during last year’s Superb Owl), and was thinking about how vital the bots are to creating the illusion that Twitter isn’t a shambling zombie at this point, and how much Elno loves them. But damn, I never expected them to actually brag about it.


I don’t talk ill of Twitter-bots. Twitter-bots represent more than half of my Twitter-followers. (Thank you, Elon.)


How long until Elon sues CHEQ (and other fact-checking/cross-checking entities) for misleading Elon’s potential investors and current stakeholders (to the actual truth)?



The question now is this: Does he have the nerve to order his legal advisors to find some way of legally justifying Twitter’s stats on their use of bots as being essential to and part of their business strategy, and therefore proprietary.


I have begun to wonder if there’s some sort of all-bot business model that Elno might stumble into, accidentally. (Involving money laundering, presumably, like the websites that rely on bot traffic to generate page views for ads.) I suspect there just isn’t enough money flowing through Twitter, nor in the future, for that to be possible, though.


If Twitter still exists in a couple of years the only user left that’s not a bot will be Elon Musk.
All the other users, AI-driven bots, will use him for fun in a game that is basically a reverse Turing test.


He’s just taking after his beloved Tangerine God-Daddy, as he does in so many ways. I’m not sure he even realizes he’s doing it sometimes.


If I’ve learned anything about stats in marketing, it’s when all you see is percentages listed, the original number was really small.


So, it is my understanding is that making shit up or publishing information you know to be unreliable/untrue for publicly traded corporations will run you afoul with the SEC for things like fraud and stock manipulation (at least in theory).

Is there anything preventing privately held companies from just making numbers up willy-nilly and releasing those to the public (presumably so long as they tell their private investors accurate information to avoid fraud suits)?


He thinks he’s Tony Stark (but one without the sci-tech chops needed for SpaceX, etc.) and likely believes that only laissez-faire capitalism under a totalitarian government can help him with his fantasy of being King of Mars, and that nothing should stand in his way in achieving that. And if that means planting one on Trump’s O-ring, then so be it.

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Per Bing Copilot search results… yes:

Privately held companies have more flexibility in terms of financial reporting compared to publicly traded companies. However, there are still some checks and balances in place to prevent outright fabrication of financial data. Here are a few factors:

  1. Legal Obligations:
  • While privately held companies are not subject to the same rigorous reporting requirements as public companies, they still have legal obligations. For instance:
    • Tax Reporting: They must accurately report financial information to tax authorities.
    • Contractual Agreements: Contracts with lenders, suppliers, or business partners often require accurate financial disclosures.
    • State Laws: State laws may impose specific reporting requirements for certain types of businesses.
  1. Private Investors and Lenders:
  • Privately held companies often rely on private investors, venture capitalists, or loans from financial institutions. These investors and lenders demand transparency and accurate financial information.
  • Misleading private investors could lead to legal consequences, including breach of contract claims.
  1. Reputation and Trust:
  • Even though privately held companies don’t face the same public scrutiny as publicly traded ones, their reputation matters. Misleading stakeholders can damage trust and relationships.
  • Word of mouth spreads quickly, and a company’s credibility affects its ability to attract talent, customers, and partners.
  1. Fraud and Legal Liability:
  • Fabricating financial data can still be considered fraud. If a company intentionally misrepresents its financial health, it could face legal action.
  • While private investors may not have the same legal recourse as public shareholders, they can still sue for damages if they believe they were misled.
  1. Due Diligence by Investors:
  • Savvy investors conduct due diligence before investing in a private company. They analyze financial statements, interview management, and assess the company’s overall health.
  • If discrepancies arise, investors may walk away or demand clarification.

In summary, while privately held companies have more discretion in their financial reporting, legal obligations, investor expectations, and the need for trust still act as guardrails against outright fabrication.

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Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t one of Elon’s big complaints about Twitter before he took it over was that it was full of spam and bots, and he was going to clean all that up once he took over?

Sounds like he might still have some work to do on that front …


Maybe there are enough Russian, Chinese and North Korean bots on the platform to make a profit from the $8 fee to prove you’re a trustworthy account.

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Plot twist: all the traffic is coming from non-human primates through their Neuralink chip.

I have no proof, but I can’t believe that Elon didn’t buy himself a huge bot-farm of followers a long time ago. Even with a large amount of real ones, I don’t think he could resist buying his megaphone up to 11. It’s just his nature.


From what I’ve read, most subscribers are already bots at this point, and they’re not even close to breaking even. (I also assume all the Russian, Chinese and North Korean bots are already paid accounts. It multiplies their impact so enormously, they can’t not do it.) But those bots all exist in the hopes of reaching actual human readers, who are disappearing fast.

To be a functional all-bot platform, I think Elno needs to make good on his promise of sharing ad revenue with users - at that point money laundering could come into play, and it won’t matter that there are no human users on Twitter left. But given the enormous costs (e.g. loan payback) for Twitter, I suspect the amount of revenue shared with user accounts would be so low that it would never be viable for money laundering compared to established web ads/bot readers scams.

Yes, but after he took over, Elno alienated so much of the user base and advertisers that the spam and bots now make up most of Twitter, based on various numbers I’m seeing - most of the paid accounts, ad revenue and definitely site activity. He simply can’t afford to get rid of them.

If you imagine Elon is actually Bizzaro in disguise as a businessman these things start making sense again.

Elon - “Me am getting rid of all bots on Twitter!”
Dwindling user base - “ummm, there’s record numbers of bots now”
Elon - “Imprecisely! That’s not what me am saying 'me am getting rid of bots”

Elon - “Me am super genius.”

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