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  #1  
Old 02-21-18, 01:56 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Conservative Twitter Users Lose Thousands of Followers, Mass Purge of Bots Suspected

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Twitter suspended thousands of accounts overnight and conservatives on the platform aren’t happy about it. Twitter has yet to make a public statement about the issue, but right-wing users believe that they’re being targeted in a mass purge of suspected Russian bot accounts.

Conservative Twitter has even started a hashtag called #TwitterLockOut to talk about the purge, with some claiming that real people (as opposed to bots) were locked out of their accounts. Gizmodo has so far been unable to confirm that any real people have had their accounts mistakenly suspended.
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https://gizmodo.com/conservative-twi...ers-1823185428
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  #2  
Old 02-21-18, 02:30 PM
the_big_toe the_big_toe is offline
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Did they shut down any liberal twitter accounts? As I understand it from reading the indictment, the Russians were just as active pretending to be liberals as they were pretending to be conservatives. I don't fault Twitter for trying to police their accounts to weed out bots, but it ought to hit both sides if that is what they are trying to do.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-18, 03:15 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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I'm sure many longtime posters on here know that we have 100s of bots trying to register on here everyday. They are not as sophisticated as the Twitter bots but they are a huge nuisance. We have program that catches most of them and prevents them from signing up. There are about 1-2 per day that get through the system. It's usually fairly obvious who they are by what school they put as their favorite (that was the reason for the question in the first place). Every week, there is a registered user that is tough to differentiate between real and bot. Almost always, just looking at their IP address shows they are from any number of foreign countries that have no business posting here.

With all that said, it wouldn't be hard for Twitter to find these abusive bots if they really wanted to. I always suspected the reason why they didn't care is because it gives them (and others like Facebook, Messenger, and SnapChat) inflated user counts to impress the investors.

This kind of story makes it look like Twitter is picking sides to appease an angry government and/or media.
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  #4  
Old 02-21-18, 04:00 PM
Neopolitan Neopolitan is offline
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With all due respect, perhaps the bots attacking Twitter are more sophisticated than the ones attacking a rinky-dink HS sports forum.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-18, 04:08 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neopolitan View Post
With all due respect, perhaps the bots attacking Twitter are more sophisticated than the ones attacking a rinky-dink HS sports forum.
Did you even take the time to read the opening post:

They are not as sophisticated as the Twitter bots

Seriously, if all you want to do is troll, your time here is coming to an end.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-18, 04:12 PM
Neopolitan Neopolitan is offline
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What was the point of the comparison then? There's zero relevancy in your experience running this site and something as vast as Twitter. I've manned the grill at a cookout, I'm not going to lecture McDonald's about how to more efficiently run their business.

Perhaps you're not aware, but Twitter removes accounts they believe to be bots all the time. This latest purge was just based on new criteria/parameters they seem to have inputted. Whether it's algorithmic or has a political bias is impossible to say, though I'd imagine it's a little of both.

P.S. Just because someone disagrees with you, doesn't mean it's trolling. That's a lame deflection.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-18, 04:28 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neopolitan View Post
What was the point of the comparison then? There's zero relevancy in your experience running this site and something as vast as Twitter. I've manned the grill at a cookout, I'm not going to lecture McDonald's about how to more efficiently run their business.

Perhaps you're not aware, but Twitter removes accounts they believe to be bots all the time. This latest purge was just based on new criteria/parameters they seem to have inputted. Whether it's algorithmic or has a political bias is impossible to say, though I'd imagine it's a little of both.

P.S. Just because someone disagrees with you, doesn't mean it's trolling. That's a lame deflection.
There is a website called StopForumSpam. It's a large website that helps 1000s of forums, some much bigger and many smaller than mine. Having experience with running a site for 15+ years and being on the sites with other admins gives me an insight that I tried to share. The reason for StopForumSpam is because those bots are a major nuisance across the web and started way before Twitter came into existence.

Being a troll is part of who you are. It's not limited to this post, thread, or forum. You add some good content and others, you are just trying to cause trouble. I'm usually fairly lenient but your act gets tiresome. The post up above was a perfect example. You didn't even read the second sentence, which contradicted your response.

And I have plenty of people who disagree with me all the time on here. I actually enjoy it. The problem is trolls like you that don't want to talk about the topic but would rather "deflect" and talk about the user.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-18, 04:37 PM
Neopolitan Neopolitan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yappi View Post
There is a website called StopForumSpam. It's a large website that helps 1000s of forums, some much bigger and many smaller than mine. Having experience with running a site for 15+ years and being on the sites with other admins gives me an insight that I tried to share. The reason for StopForumSpam is because those bots are a major nuisance across the web and started way before Twitter came into existence.
My entire point was I don't think this has any relationship. Twitter isn't a forum. The goals of bots, the means of stopping them, and of course the scale operate on such a different plane that we might as well be comparing organizing a backyard grill out to being the CEO of McDonald's.

Quote:
The problem is trolls like you that don't want to talk about the topic but would rather "deflect" and talk about the user.
I'm attempting to talk about the topic. I don't think stopping bots is as simple as you think for Twitter, and you seem to be under the impression it's not something they already do regularly.

This latest purge was simply Twitter entering new parameters in to their existing algorithm that identifies bots. The question is whether those parameters were based on political partisanship. My guess would be not entirely but partially.

Last edited by Neopolitan; 02-21-18 at 06:16 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-21-18, 04:55 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neopolitan View Post
My entire point was I don't think this has any relationship. Twitter isn't a forum. The goals of trolls, the means of stopping them, and of course the scale operate on such a different plane that we might as well be comparing organizing a backyard grill out to being the CEO of McDonald's.
Just trying to give you some real world examples of where bots caused a major issue and a large group of people came up with solutions.

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Originally Posted by Neopolitan View Post
I'm attempting to talk about the topic. I don't think stopping bots is as simple as you think for Twitter, and you seem to be under the impression it's not something they already do regularly.
I don't think Twitter cared about it because it helped their bottom line. They can count the bots in their monthly active users and their disruption to their site was minimal until just recently. Remember, unlike a forum, Twitter users have very little ability to be seen until they get more followers. Twitter was slow to respond to the threat from these bots.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-18, 05:49 PM
USA70PP USA70PP is offline
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The IPs of these bots. Are they drawn from something like a "country block" of addresses?
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  #11  
Old 02-21-18, 06:10 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Originally Posted by USA70PP View Post
The IPs of these bots. Are they drawn from something like a "country block" of addresses?
If you are asking about the IPs I block, yes, they are coming from certain countries. I basically block most of India, China, Russia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Definitely an advantage of being a regional website. There is no way that Twitter could do that.

StopForumSpam takes care of most of the other offending IP addresses. There are plenty of people who make software add-ons to the various forum software that tries to prevent bots from registering. It's an ongoing problem.

As I said up above, I don't think it was a big deal to Twitter because the bots didn't really cause a problem until very recently. The big stars like having 20 million followers even if half of them were bots, so there was actually a reason not to purge them from the system.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-18, 06:21 PM
Neopolitan Neopolitan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yappi View Post
I don't think Twitter cared about it because it helped their bottom line. They can count the bots in their monthly active users and their disruption to their site was minimal until just recently.
Outside of very early in social media history when no one had any clue how to monetize these sites, or even if they could be monetized, raw users is not meaningful to their bottom line.

Investors and advertisers aren't stupid, they identified pretty quickly metrics that were more valuable than raw user #'s and used those to gauge valuations.

Your assumptions are flawed.
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  #13  
Old 02-21-18, 06:42 PM
Indiandad Indiandad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neopolitan View Post
Outside of very early in social media history when no one had any clue how to monetize these sites, or even if they could be monetized, raw users is not meaningful to their bottom line.

Investors and advertisers aren't stupid, they identified pretty quickly metrics that were more valuable than raw user #'s and used those to gauge valuations.

Your assumptions are flawed.
What metrics have they identified aside from site visits and clicks?
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  #14  
Old 02-21-18, 06:50 PM
Neopolitan Neopolitan is offline
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Originally Posted by Indiandad View Post
What metrics have they identified aside from site visits and clicks?
Engagement for lack of a better term. A user that "follows" a thousand people but only has 3 people following them is worthless. A tweet that has an out of wack ratio of shares/comments/likes in any direction is a red flag. Average time on site. Bounce rate of traffic coming from the site.
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  #15  
Old 02-21-18, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yappi View Post
If you are asking about the IPs I block, yes, they are coming from certain countries. I basically block most of India, China, Russia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Definitely an advantage of being a regional website. There is no way that Twitter could do that.

StopForumSpam takes care of most of the other offending IP addresses. There are plenty of people who make software add-ons to the various forum software that tries to prevent bots from registering. It's an ongoing problem.

As I said up above, I don't think it was a big deal to Twitter because the bots didn't really cause a problem until very recently. The big stars like having 20 million followers even if half of them were bots, so there was actually a reason not to purge them from the system.
This isn't trolling....why most of India and not all of it?
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  #16  
Old 02-21-18, 07:10 PM
domi domi is offline
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They aren't the gubmint so let them do whatever they want to do. If conservatives don't like they can go start their own app.

As for their finances they are one of those weird companies that don't turn a profit for five years straight but their stock goes up and comes back down and goes back up the entire time. I view them as one of the companies that know they have something but are still trying to figure out how to maximize revenue. They might have turned the corner though with posting their first profit ever in 4th quarter 2017.

Last edited by domi; 02-21-18 at 11:55 PM.
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  #17  
Old 02-21-18, 09:48 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrogate View Post
This isn't trolling....why most of India and not all of it?
When I said "most of" that applied to all the countries in the list. Whatever IP address I can identify being from any of those countries I would block.

The only real issue is when there is a military base in one of the countries and a person is blocked. I usually try to work around that if it affects anyone.
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  #18  
Old 02-21-18, 10:07 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neopolitan View Post
Outside of very early in social media history when no one had any clue how to monetize these sites, or even if they could be monetized, raw users is not meaningful to their bottom line.

Investors and advertisers aren't stupid, they identified pretty quickly metrics that were more valuable than raw user #'s and used those to gauge valuations.

Your assumptions are flawed.
You don't think DAU and MAU are some of the most important metrics for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat?

Mark Zuckerburg's community update for Facebook on January 31st:

FIRST paragraph:
Quote:
2017 was a strong year for Facebook in many ways. Our community continues to grow with more than 2.1 billion people now using Facebook every month and 1.4 billion people using it daily. Our business grew 47% year-over-year to $40 billion.
It's probably the most important metric because everyone can understand it. If the trend of DAU and MAU starts to go down, the company is in trouble. With as much success as Facebook has had throughout it's history, the troubling statistic they have right now is that North American DAUs declined for the first time.

Twitter has approximately 330 million DAUs. If they were to get rid of all the bots and lets just assume that was 10% of their users (probably a low estimate for all social media), they would have a very tough time explaining to investors that their DAUs went from 330 million to 300 million in one quarter. Twitter would claim that is a 3 million increase from the previous quarter (because they got rid of the 33 million bots), everyone else would see a 30 million drop.

Twitter is already struggling because their user growth is stagnant. No way they want to get rid of bots and show a decline.
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  #19  
Old 02-21-18, 10:21 PM
Neopolitan Neopolitan is offline
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Originally Posted by Yappi View Post
It's probably the most important metric because everyone can understand it.
For that precise reason, it is not.

Social media makes money by advertisers being willing to pay money for ad placement. Advertisers do not care about total user numbers, because they are only trying to A.) advertise to the fraction of your total users that fit their intended demographic and B.) advertise to those who will actually engage with their ad.

That's why, despite twitter being the more hip platform, FB is still vastly more popular with advertisers because it has far more information on users, allowing advertisers to more precisely target their ads.
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  #20  
Old 02-21-18, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Yappi View Post
When I said "most of" that applied to all the countries in the list. Whatever IP address I can identify being from any of those countries I would block.

The only real issue is when there is a military base in one of the countries and a person is blocked. I usually try to work around that if it affects anyone.
That makes sense. I was wondering if there was some military base in India that Ohio HS Football fans lol
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  #21  
Old 02-21-18, 10:31 PM
Crusaders Crusaders is offline
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Pretty clearly targeted right-leaning users but it's not surprising since the site is run by a hardcore progressive.
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