Winter Watch has long maintained that about half the presence on social media sites is bogus and a scam. We now have confirmation that our “tinfoil hat conspiracy theory” is true, and we were right all along.
Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao on Wednesday posted the following tweet following a New York Magazine article that revealed the extent to which Internet traffic metrics from some of the largest tech companies are overstated or fabricated.
It’s all true: Everything is fake. Also mobile user counts are fake. No one has figured out how to count logged-out mobile users, as I learned at reddit. Every time someone switches cell towers, it looks like another user and inflates company user metrics https://t.co/tk1PKuvLL6
— Ellen K. Pao (@ekp) December 27, 2018
The New York Magazine article by Max Read goes much deeper, asserting that the people are fake, the businesses are fake, the content is fake, our politics are fake.
Read notes that “studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human.” Some years, “a healthy majority of it is bot.”
At the core of this is advertising fraud, one of the most profitable criminal enterprises in the world, generating tens of billions of dollars a year. That’s the view of Dr. Augustine Fou, cybersecurity and ad-fraud researcher who released a Slideshare presentation on LinkedIn describing the state of digital ad fraud in 2018.
An article in Which-50, which follows the internet, states, “Some people might consider it extraordinary that technology businesses — businesses that claim they can discern the intent of one buyer from a billion in milliseconds — somehow can’t recognize when millions of ads a month are served to a single unique user ID in, for instance, Belarus or China.”
Although the social media fraudster companies fail to detect bots- so as to inflate their revenue, they also use artificial intelligence as cover to ban or shadow ban actual challenges to their regimes. We are shadowed banned about everywhere. When truther sites are shut down- on say You Tube, those voices typically are quieted and give up in despair and disgust. This is turn makes social media even more fake and less geniune.
Dr. Fou indicates that bot detection technology is failing to pick up on most of it. And “deep fakes” are not just ripping off advertisers. As an actual human, we can see bot behavior being used for malicious intent on social media boards such at Reddit and Voat. Often, we wonder if commenters are really that stupid and evil. I would suggest there is deliberate spoofing going on — to for instance make it seem that large numbers of people who comment are extreme racists and have zero social skills or intelligence.
For example, as I was doing some research for our post yesterday on Chinese parasite guild operations, we came across this post at Voat. Nobody had anything of value to add to the important core topic. But that didn’t stop 113 comments from piling in. Not only was the commentary worthless, but it was a spew of (fake) racism and rank stupidity.
Also notice the fake voting for the more racist comments. Who would actually up-vote 44 to 1 “Noseberg Shekelman’s” fake comment? The answer: mostly paid sock puppet bots. I firmly believe now that 80 to 90 percent of those comments are bot faked. And if you are a real slinger engaging in this juvenile behavior, ask yourself if it helps, or harms the cause?
Here is a sampling of the top staged deception comments under the Voat post. Bastante!
Additionally this suggests someone among the usual suspects is paying to ruin Voat as an alternative to censored sites like Reddit, and to create fake personas of nasty racists. Torchy tells me she was at Voat and that the second the bots picked up that she was female, a slew of disconnected off topic misogynist comments suddenly appeared. Or in this Chinese parasite guild case it could be Chinese bots targeting the topic of the original post. That way normal readers are recoiled. My personal reaction is to give up on humanity when I see this non-stop.
It also serves to boost the internet censorship narrative. How about making being human the litimus test of who participates online and ban the bots? What a novel concept.
This also has a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) bandwagon effect for the more impressionable to infer such behaviors are edgy and maybe even cool. Then, if someone like Winter Watch writers offer a more serious article on the Chinese privatization of African assets, we can be lumped into the same twisted litany. One of the latest bot tricks being used on us is to declare “this is a shitty article” followed by off-topic comments that seem to trigger on one word in the headline.
I am interested in doing a podcast on the under appreciated topics raised in this post, as well as the state of the media and entertainment. If you have some ideas about who is running these sock-puppet bot operations, so much the better. The podcast could be with someone new or with one of my previous regulars. Please get in touch. – RW