General Elon Musk fukkery Thread

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Climate scientists flee Twitter as hostility surges​


Roland LLOYD PARRY

Tue, May 23, 2023 at 9:29 PM EDT·4 min read


Scientists rely on social media to communicate about climate and other areas


Scientists rely on social media to communicate about climate and other areas

Scientists suffering insults and mass-spam are abandoning Twitter for alternative social networks as hostile climate-change denialism surges on the platform following Elon Musk's takeover.

Researchers have documented an explosion of hate and misinformation on Twitter since the Tesla billionaire took over in October 2022 -- and now experts say communicating about climate science on the social network on which many of them rely is getting harder.

Policies aimed at curbing the deadly effects of climate change are accelerating, prompting a rise in what experts identify as organised resistance by opponents of climate reform.

Peter Gleick, a climate and water specialist with nearly 99,000 followers, announced on May 21 he would no longer post on the platform because it was amplifying racism and sexism.

While he is accustomed to "offensive, personal, ad hominem attacks, up to and including direct physical threats", he told AFP, "in the past few months, since the takeover and changes at Twitter, the amount, vituperativeness, and intensity of abuse has skyrocketed".
- Climate tweets decline -

Robert Rohde, a physicist and lead scientist at the non-profit environmental data analysis group Berkeley Earth, analysed activity on hundreds of accounts of widely followed specialists posting about climate science before and after the takeover.

He found climate scientists' tweets were losing impact. The average number of likes they received was down 38 percent and average retweets fell 40 percent.

Twitter has not commented directly about what changes it has made to the algorithms that drive traffic and visibility.

Contacted at its email address for comment, its press department returned its now customary reply, an automated email with a "poop" emoji.

But in a tweet seen as an acknowledgement of a deliberate change, Musk wrote in January: "People on the right should see more 'left-wing' stuff and people on the left should see more 'right-wing' stuff. But you can just block it if you want to stay in an echo chamber."
- Climate denial bots -

In another analysis, prominent climatologist Katharine Hayhoe monitored responses to a tweet on climate change which she published twice, as an experiment, on separate dates before and after the takeover.

She counted the hostile comments and examined them for signs that they came from bots -– automated accounts that researchers say are pushing mass misinformation.

Inauthentic accounts can be identified by analysis tools such as Bot Sentinel.

Replies from apparent trolls or bots increased 15 to 30 times over a two-month period compared to the previous two years, Hayhoe tweeted in January 2023.

"Before October, my account was growing steadily at a rate of at least several thousand new followers a month. Since then, it has not changed," she told AFP.
- Scientists leaving Twitter -

Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, said he was moving most of his climate communication to Substack, a newsletter platform.

"Climate communications on Twitter are less useful (now) given that I can see that my tweets are getting less engagement," he said.

"In response to almost any tweet concerning climate change, I find my notifications inundated with replies from verified accounts making misleading or misguided claims."

Others have abandoned Twitter altogether.

Hayhoe said that of a Twitter list of 3,000 climate scientists that she keeps, 100 disappeared after the takeover.

Glaciologist Ruth Mottram had more than 10,000 followers on Twitter but left in February and joined an alternative scientists' forum powered by Mastodon -– a crowdfunded, decentralised grouping of social networks founded in 2016.

"It's really been a revelation in many ways. It's a much quieter and more thoughtful platform," she told AFP.

On Mastodon, "I haven't had any abuse at all or even people questioning climate change. I think we'd become far too used to it on Twitter... I had blocked loads of accounts over on the birdsite (Twitter)," she said.
- 'Organised' campaign -

Michael Mann, a prominent climate scientist at the University of Pennsylvania and a regular target for abuse by deniers of climate change, said he believed the rise in misinformation was "organised and orchestrated" by opponents of climate reforms.

"I've seen a huge rise in trolls and bots. Many target tweets of mine for attack," he said.

Mann's 2021 book "The New Climate War" documented action by oil producers to sow climate denialism on social media.

"The professional trolls manipulate the online environment with strategic posts that generate conflict and division, leading to a feeding frenzy," he told AFP.
 

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European concerns rise as Twitter signals withdrawal from disinformation code​

Gossip Life May 27, 20230


European concerns rise as Twitter signals withdrawal from disinformation code
BRUSSELS: European sources have revealed that Twitter is planning to withdraw from the European Union's (EU) disinformation code, a voluntary agreement that brings together major social platforms. The decision by Twitter, which is owned by US billionaire Elon Musk, has been communicated to the European Commission, but formal notification to Brussels is still pending.

The EU's code of practice on disinformation was established in 2018 and has nearly three dozen signatories, including industry giants like Meta, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and TikTok. It encompasses not only major platforms but also advertisers, fact-checkers, and non-governmental organisations. The code, drafted by the industry players themselves, includes over three dozen commitments, such as improved collaboration with fact-checkers and a commitment not to promote actors spreading disinformation.



Since Elon Musk acquired Twitter seven months ago, there has been a noticeable relaxation in content moderation, leading to an amplification of voices known for disseminating disinformation on the platform. According to one source, Twitter has indicated a preference for relying on its users rather than fact-checkers. The reports produced by Twitter under the code were deemed to be highly incomplete.

One European Commission official, speaking to AFP, stated, "If Elon Musk doesn't take the code seriously, then he should quit." While adherence to the code remains voluntary, the official emphasised that platforms cannot escape the consequences of the EU's Digital Services Act (DSA), which comes into effect in November. The DSA compels platforms to actively mitigate the risks of disinformation and imposes penalties of up to 6% of global revenues for non-compliance.


Vera Jourova, the vice president of the European Commission, expressed growing discomfort with Twitter last month due to the surge in Russian disinformation on the platform. She also raised concerns about Twitter's insufficient staff dedicated to combating disinformation, following a wave of layoffs following Elon Musk's arrival.

In response to inquiries, Twitter's press service sent an automated reply featuring a dog excrement emoji.
 

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Twitter is making researchers delete data it gave them unless they pay $42,000​

EXCLUSIVE

Move to hike price of academic access compared to ‘book burning’ amid fears it will harm fight against misinformation online​

FILE - Twitter, now X. Corp, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk poses prior to his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, May 15, 2023 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will announce his 2024 presidential campaign in a Twitter Spaces event with Musk on Wednesday, May 24. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool, File)
Researchers say the policy goes against Elon Musk’s claim that ‘Twitter serves as the de facto public town square’ (Photo: Michel Euler/AP)

By Chris Stokel-Walker


Academic researchers have been set a deadline of the end of the month to delete data they obtained under historic contracts to study Twitter, unless the pay a new $42,000-a-month contract – a demand one called “the big data equivalent of book burning”.

For years, Twitter provided academic access to a service called the decahose – a random sample of 10% of all Twitter’s firehose of tweets, which was always on. The decahose, access to which was brokered through Twitter’s API (application programming interface), was a special tool for academics, designed to let them monitor how conversations on the social media platform took place.

Researchers have used that data to track entire days on Twitter, to analyse the spread of disinformation and misinformation, and to track the rise of extremism and how that bleeds through to offline life.

What happens on Twitter matters because, in Elon Musk’s own words as he planned to take over the company last year, “Twitter serves as the de facto public town square”.

But in recent weeks, the company has been contacting researchers, asking them to pay $42,000 a month to access 0.3% of all the tweets posted to the platform – something researchers have previously said is totally unaffordable. Previous contracts for access to the data were set as low as a couple of hundred dollars a month.

An email, seen by the i, says researchers who don’t sign the new contract “will need to expunge all Twitter data stored and cached in your systems”. Researchers will be required to post screenshots “that showcase evidence of removal”. They have been given 30 days after their agreement expires to complete the process.

The requirement to delete the data was included in the original contract signed by researchers when they agreed to access the decahose, but it signals a U-turn on previous openness to scrutiny by academics.

The contracts were signed with the previous Twitter regime, which had historically welcomed academic scrutiny of its platform and valued the importance of transparency. The researchers had no reason to believe that the contracts would ever end – nor that they would be asked to delete data they had previously obtained under its terms, regardless of what the text said.

“There is quite a bit of research underway to illuminate what has happened on Twitter the last several years, so it’s devastating both to that research, and to the transparency of the platform, and for the historical record of the public discussion on Twitter,” said one academic who received the demand. They asked not to be named because they are concerned about the ramifications. “It’s sort of the big data equivalent of book burning.”

That’s a view shared by others within the academic research community.

“The changes to the Twitter API are having catastrophic effects on our research into the spread of disinformation and its harms, the manipulation of social media, and the vulnerability of people and platforms to online abuse,” said Filippo Menczer, director of the Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University.

Menczer points out that it’s not just academic research which is stymied by Musk’s moves. Using access to that data, researchers have developed free tools that are used by others, including Hoaxy, a tool that visualises the spread of disinformation, and Botometer, which tries to identify inauthentic accounts. With the changes to academic data access, many of those tools have already stopped or are about to stop working.

“Twitter is making it impossible to conduct the very research that alerted the world about the risks and pathologies of social media,” said Menczer.

“This decision by Twitter may substantially impact the reproducibility of the papers by research groups using the decahose,” said Manoel Horta Ribeiro, who studies social media at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. “And, overall, it does not make a lot of sense, since it is not like people are sharing this data widely – because the rules did not allow for that in the first place.”

Horta Ribeiro said that while the change was significant, it would likely only affect a small amount of academic research. “I believe that only a minority of academics used the decahose data, so this change may not impact people using the standard API or the academic API that went on to be released,” he said.

There is also the fact that some academics have simply said they will find less official workarounds to gain access to tweets, scraping data unofficially in order to analyse it – a defiant approach that many decided on when Twitter hiked the price of API access hugely. However, this process is much more difficult than getting official access brokered by Twitter.

Horta Ribeiro hypothesises that academics may be collateral damage from the API change, the primary purpose of which could be targeted at heading off broader shifts in technology. “I wonder if this is targeted at other companies that had access to swaths of Twitter data and that are now using this data to train large language models, like GPT-3,” he said.

Twitter did not formally respond to the i‘s request for comment. An auto-response, provided by the company’s press office that has been in place for several months now, emailed back a poop emoji to questions.
 

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Same reason why certain people have to buy NORTH FACE for Outdoor Wear.
North Face ceo ain’t all in the videos though. Elon Musk went from a liberal hero to a conservative cuck. IMO liberals who care about politics won’t continue to buy Teslas so there will be a reckoning in the future with a drop in demand.
 

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Twitter is making researchers delete data it gave them unless they pay $42,000​

EXCLUSIVE

Move to hike price of academic access compared to ‘book burning’ amid fears it will harm fight against misinformation online​

FILE - Twitter, now X. Corp, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk poses prior to his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, May 15, 2023 at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will announce his 2024 presidential campaign in a Twitter Spaces event with Musk on Wednesday, May 24. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool, File)
Researchers say the policy goes against Elon Musk’s claim that ‘Twitter serves as the de facto public town square’ (Photo: Michel Euler/AP)

By Chris Stokel-Walker


Academic researchers have been set a deadline of the end of the month to delete data they obtained under historic contracts to study Twitter, unless the pay a new $42,000-a-month contract – a demand one called “the big data equivalent of book burning”.

For years, Twitter provided academic access to a service called the decahose – a random sample of 10% of all Twitter’s firehose of tweets, which was always on. The decahose, access to which was brokered through Twitter’s API (application programming interface), was a special tool for academics, designed to let them monitor how conversations on the social media platform took place.

Researchers have used that data to track entire days on Twitter, to analyse the spread of disinformation and misinformation, and to track the rise of extremism and how that bleeds through to offline life.

What happens on Twitter matters because, in Elon Musk’s own words as he planned to take over the company last year, “Twitter serves as the de facto public town square”.

But in recent weeks, the company has been contacting researchers, asking them to pay $42,000 a month to access 0.3% of all the tweets posted to the platform – something researchers have previously said is totally unaffordable. Previous contracts for access to the data were set as low as a couple of hundred dollars a month.

An email, seen by the i, says researchers who don’t sign the new contract “will need to expunge all Twitter data stored and cached in your systems”. Researchers will be required to post screenshots “that showcase evidence of removal”. They have been given 30 days after their agreement expires to complete the process.

The requirement to delete the data was included in the original contract signed by researchers when they agreed to access the decahose, but it signals a U-turn on previous openness to scrutiny by academics.

The contracts were signed with the previous Twitter regime, which had historically welcomed academic scrutiny of its platform and valued the importance of transparency. The researchers had no reason to believe that the contracts would ever end – nor that they would be asked to delete data they had previously obtained under its terms, regardless of what the text said.

“There is quite a bit of research underway to illuminate what has happened on Twitter the last several years, so it’s devastating both to that research, and to the transparency of the platform, and for the historical record of the public discussion on Twitter,” said one academic who received the demand. They asked not to be named because they are concerned about the ramifications. “It’s sort of the big data equivalent ofbook burning.”

That’s a view shared by others within the academic research community.

“The changes to the Twitter API are having catastrophic effects on our research into the spread of disinformation and its harms, the manipulation of social media, and the vulnerability of people and platforms to online abuse,” said Filippo Menczer, director of the Observatory on Social Media at Indiana University.

Menczer points out that it’s not just academic research which is stymied by Musk’s moves. Using access to that data, researchers have developed free tools that are used by others, including Hoaxy, a tool that visualises the spread of disinformation, and Botometer, which tries to identify inauthentic accounts. With the changes to academic data access, many of those tools have already stopped or are about to stop working.

“Twitter is making it impossible to conduct the very research that alerted the world about the risks and pathologies of social media,” said Menczer.

“This decision by Twitter may substantially impact the reproducibility of the papers by research groups using the decahose,” said Manoel Horta Ribeiro, who studies social media at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. “And, overall, it does not make a lot of sense, since it is not like people are sharing this data widely – because the rules did not allow for that in the first place.”

Horta Ribeiro said that while the change was significant, it would likely only affect a small amount of academic research. “I believe that only a minority of academics used the decahose data, so this change may not impact people using the standard API or the academic API that went on to be released,” he said.

There is also the fact that some academics have simply said they will find less official workarounds to gain access to tweets, scraping data unofficially in order to analyse it – a defiant approach that many decided on when Twitter hiked the price of API access hugely. However, this process is much more difficult than getting official access brokered by Twitter.

Horta Ribeiro hypothesises that academics may be collateral damage from the API change, the primary purpose of which could be targeted at heading off broader shifts in technology. “I wonder if this is targeted at other companies that had access to swaths of Twitter data and that are now using this data to train large language models, like GPT-3,” he said.

Twitter did not formally respond to the i‘s request for comment. An auto-response, provided by the company’s press office that has been in place for several months now, emailed back a poop emoji to questions.



How fukking clueless is he? Who has half a million dollars a year to give up for Twitter data? Only way I can imagine any of them doing this is if they all band together and share the data somehow.
 

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How fukking clueless is he? Who has half a million dollars a year to give up for Twitter data? Only way I can imagine any of them doing this is if they all band together and share the data somehow.

form a single entity :ld:
 
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