I have had the joy of working in the tech space for about a decade now.
You build, you find a customer, you build some more, and find a customer.
Great ideas sometimes get led astray by this process.
Google was a great idea — give the user exactly what he wants to find.
That has turned into “Give the user exactly what Google wants him to find.”
Twitter too was a great idea — let the user communicate succinctly with anyone he wants to communicate with.
It has turned into, “let the user be communicated with by anyone Twitter wants him to communicate with.”
In this, we have a problem. Twitter, the home of influencers, appears to be filled with bots. Bots are a programmed account intended to behave in a predictable way. It could be a human behind an army of accounts, all behaving predictably. It could also be a machine behind the army of accounts. Often it is some combination of the two.
It comes down to this though — a bot is a reliable way to circulate information out into the world, while making that information seem way more “organic” than it actually is.
If you have a Twitter account, you may have “people” you have never met who communicate with you and like and retweet a lot of your stuff. That may be a real person interested in you authentically, or it may be a bot. The bot will communicate in a way that seems authentic. And that bot does its job when it fools you into thinking that communication is authentic.
You see, many people long ago became savvy around the fake news media. They came to understand that the media was manipulated and that truth was hard to find in its pages.
As the media, which has turned into little more than propaganda and programming, has lost its impact on the public, a new tool — social media — emerged to help supplement that.
Social media can be a powerful tool for communicating with those you know in a relatively relaxed and trustworthy environment. It can be far more effective at communicating propaganda to you. You are relaxed, you are having a good conversation with a friend, perhaps about something lighthearted, and then that friend retweets something from a friend of a friend.
You perk up. You are not sure about what is written there. So instead of thoughtlessly recirculating it, you take it a step further and click on the original poster’s account profile first. Their account is anonymous, but it looks like someone you could follow. Maybe they wear a mask if you are on the left or have a virtue tag such as a Ukrainian flag or BLM symbolism. If you are on the right, maybe they have a Pepe profile photo, or a screen name that mentions “Trump” or “45.” Maybe they support a cause you support — such as the environment, breast cancer, veterans, or caring for stray animals.
Maybe they have the words “MD” or “RN,” in their bio, along with a name and photo that seems real. It lends an air of credibility — someone you could be a friend with, maybe even someone you could trust.
Let me share with you some tweets posted verbatim by many automated accounts recently on Twitter.
“I just left the ER.
We are officially back to getting
crushed by COVID-19.
Delta Variant is running rampant
and it’s MUCH more transmissible
than the original virus.
99% of our ICU admits did NOT receive a vaccine”
What would it mean if millions of people began to believe and repeat that narrative?
Imagine the power in the hands of someone who could make that a reality.
Social media is an effective way to make that happen.
Here is another Tweet that appeared verbatim across numerous accounts.
“You have been the softest, most reassuring voice of reason I’ve felt in years. Thank you, PRESIDENT Joseph R. Biden for taking us all on, when you never, ever had to. Thank you for the respite of peace. I speak for everyone when i say we love you.”
Or this one:
“I speak for the whole of America when I say we need a hard 6-month lockdown, none of this essential work or exercise crap from last time. Masks to be worn at all times, even at home. Strictly enforced. We can then begin a gradual easing but letting folks out a year after booster!”
Or this one:
“Honest US citizen here, I don’t get why many people hate Biden. I think he’s one of the best presidents in the country right now. He needs time to do this. We should back him and trust the process. We can do this! Let’s go US!”
If you do not believe that these are repeated by accounts on Twitter, just search a unique portion of the phrases above on Twitter or even in an internet search. You will find those tweets. Soon, Snopes may even run an article calling this misinformation to claim that the Twitter platform is home to bots used to influence public opinion.
Almost everyone is missing the Elon Musk story. It isn’t about shareholder value if the number of fake Twitter accounts are high. It isn’t about advertising revenue. It isn’t about the morality of lying on financial statements.
All those statements, of course, may be calm and sober and may play well in traditional media and open up the doors to judicial deliberation of this disagreement, but the bot argument is about so much more.
This is why that really matters: If Musk removes the bots from Twitter, he has denied the CIA one of its most useful propaganda tools on this planet.
Project Pureblood launched last week and is off to a successful start. Its cousin project, “The Converts,” is now open for those who see the evil of the vaccine and mask mandates refuse to comply with them. Have a look here (https://realstevo.com/convertslrc) to learn more about The Converts. Devoid of bots and full of brave warriors like those who read the esteemed pages of LRC, The Converts is the exact opposite of the CIA spin machine that Twitter has become.
The post What Does It Really Mean For Twitter To Be Full of Bots? appeared first on LewRockwell.