Elon Musk’s new plan to eliminate Twitter bots faces backlash

  • Elon Musk’s Twitter deal is still at a standstill due to his concern over the rising number of bot accounts.
  • Musk explained his new plan of weeding out bots by physically counting them for random samples.
  • He is facing severe backlash at this impossible suggestion, with many believing he’s trolling Twitter again. 

On April 14th,  Elon Musk the billionaire who is known to have his hands in multiple cookie jars, with his companies such as SpaceX and Tesla, added yet another feather to his cap as he moved to acquire one of the world’s leading microblogging social media platforms, Twitter.

While the mammoth takeover which cost Musk 44 billion USD is now in a stage of “temporary” halt, the move has yet not stopped the entrepreneur from making some important decisions regarding the firm’s future. One of such decisions or rather better termed, a concern for him is the existence of a widespread network of bots on Twitter.

What are Twitter bots and why are they a bother

These bots on Twitter are actually “robots” which are automated accounts created by third-party vendors which use the public API of the social media platform.

On honest review, these bots were designed to broadcast important news or even prove useful in case of emergencies like extreme weather conditions in real-time. Different companies and organizations work in collaboration with third-party firms to automate their replies and or even likes.

But in reality, these bots can be designed for malicious and harmful purposes as well. So far according to reports, Twitter bots have been implicated in all sorts of spreading of fake news, spamming, or even violation of one’s privacy and access to their information.

In the 2016 presidential election, there were concerns that Russian bots helped influence the race in favor of the winner, Donald Trump. These bots are also implicated in fake giveaways and financial scams.

According to a study conducted recently, it is estimated that an alarming number of 11-15 percent of the accounts on Twitter are Bot accounts. However, Twitter’s official estimates say that the bot accounts constitute somewhat a meager 5 percent of the population.

Musk does not agree

Elon Musk has been vocal and stated that he does not believe these “official”  figures provided by Twitter CEO and is confident of the fact that Twitter Bots are significantly much larger in number and operation.

He even claimed that Twitter uses a complex methodology to calculate bot accounts which may not be completely accurate either and hence data appears distorted. He exclaimed he wishes to crack down on bots involved in cryptocurrency scams.

And now he’s come up with a bizarre plan to achieve his goal.

A bizarre plan

Musk believes that the best way to figure out the “actual” number of fake accounts is to count them individually!

To put things into perspective, Twitter has about 290.5 million accounts. If the statistics given are to be believed, even the stipulated 5 percent of that number is about 14.5 million suspected bot accounts.

The method for said evaluation is formulated to be done via taking random samples of a hundred accounts each by dedicated teams who will then progress to sieve out the bots and disable their access.

However, physically counting so many accounts to single them out isn’t possible and the possibility of these numbers not being the actual ones makes this task a near-impossible one.

Experts have even claimed that Musk might be trolling us but given his determination to free Twitter of fake accounts and only host authentic ones, the public doesn’t really know what to believe.

The Backlash

Many, including Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, were too quick to point out that the billionaire’s approach isn’t feasible at all. People are still running with this statement being a trolling attempt on the billionaire’s part.

Others also pointed out that Musk’s latest comments prove that he has done astonishingly little homework to understand the thing he’s willing to buy for tens of billions of dollars.

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