Elon Musk’s Never Ending The attempt to take over Twitter took yet another bizarre turn, as the social media platform appeared to have granted the entrepreneur’s request for access to data inside the “fire hose” held by the company.
For weeks, Musk has urged Twitter to provide data that would allow the South African entrepreneur to test whether a large percentage of the platform’s users are fake bot accounts — a move he believes would lower the price he’s willing to pay for the company.Musk believes bot accounts make up more than 5% of Twitter’s user base — even Musk’s critics think it’s true— and hope the company counters this.
Twitter reports decrease in its number of inauthentic accounts financial performanceand according to Washington post, which is willing to give Musk access to every tweet posted every day, along with detailed user information, in order to let him hunt for inauthentic behavior. (Informally, the data is referred to as “fire hoses.” Twitter has denied WIRED confirmation or denial postal Report. ) Twitter’s apparent willingness to grant Musk access to the data stream comes days after suitors’ lawyers dispatched a letter told the company that it was “actively resisting and obstructing [Musk’s] right to information” and threatened to withdraw from the deal.
The switch to allowing Musk to access the data is reportedly significant and raises two key questions: First, will Musk get what he wants from the data he gets? Second: What does his gaining access mean for the privacy and security of everyday users?
For Queensland University of Technology professor Axel Bruns, the move was what Twitter called Musk’s bluff. “By having him use a fire hose, Twitter could probably say, ‘Then prove your claim about the abundance of bots,'” he said. Bruns believes that Musk and anyone he hires will have trouble tracking the robot. But even for someone with the necessary skills to work with that level of data, it’s unlikely to be the right way to answer this question. Whether the firehose of 500 million tweets a day on the social media platform will actually help Musk answer the key question he claims is preventing him from buying Twitter: the percentage of bot users is uncertain. “It seems a bit performative,” says Paddy Leerssen, an information law researcher at the University of Amsterdam. “My feeling is that this data is not the data you need to determine who is a bot.”
Being able to pinpoint what makes a bot a bot has been a hotly debated topic in academia, and experts devote most of their work hours to the topic — which is why they’re skeptical about accessing all the tweets posted to Twitter. Clearly answering the bot question was enough to convince Musk to keep buying. “My impression is that people tend to overestimate how easy it is to detect robots,” Leerssen said. “Such a tool [the fire hose] It won’t let you do this unless you combine it with various other research methods. I don’t think on a timeline like this, Elon Musk would have time to do it. The person who could answer how the data helped him identify the robot, Musk himself, did not respond to an emailed request for comment.