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Feb 22, 2020. 9 comments

A Quarter of All Climate Tweets Come From Bots—and They're More Likely to Peddle Denial

A Quarter of All Climate Tweets Come From Bots—and They're More Likely to Peddle Denial

The bots are taking over, man. Researchers have found that bots are largely fueling climate denial propaganda on Twitter.

In a draft research paper, scientists at Brown University found that a quarter of all tweets about climate change come from bots on an average day. That’s especially the case when it comes to climate denial.

The paper—which hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed or published...

9 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Dec 07, 2019. 14 comments

I Want That on a T-Shirt

I Want That on a T-Shirt

Artists on Twitter say that their work is regularly stolen by armies of bots that generate t-shirts from popular designs—and they’ve got the receipts to prove it.

Here’s the scam: Bots linked to popular t-shirt sales platforms appear to be crawling Twitter for replies to artists that mention phrases like “I want that on a t-shirt” or “Can I get that on a t-shirt?” Within hours, vendors on...

14 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Dec 07, 2019. 6 comments

Social Media Companies Aren’t Even Close to Fixing Their Bot Problem, Report Finds

Social Media Companies Aren’t Even Close to Fixing Their Bot Problem, Report Finds

Researchers with the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence released a report this week showing that—shocker! —it remains as easy as ever to buy followers and engagement on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

The researchers wrote in the report that they tested the preparedness of the four sites by purchasing engagement on 105 separate posts on the...

6 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Oct 31, 2019. 13 comments

AI Bot Is the First to Play StarCraft II at the Grandmaster Level

AI Bot Is the First to Play StarCraft II at the Grandmaster Level

Computer scientists at DeepMind have developed an artificially intelligent bot capable of defeating the world’s best players at StarCraft II, the popular real-time strategy video game.

New research published today in Nature describes AlphaStar—the first artificially intelligent agent capable of playing StarCraft II at the grandmaster level. Developed by DeepMind, the system is ranked above the...

13 Comments

Victoria Song Victoria Song Jun 15, 2019. 20 comments

I Just Wanted to Buy Tickets to Mitski but the Bots Wouldn't Let Me

I Just Wanted to Buy Tickets to Mitski but the Bots Wouldn't Let Me

Buying almost anything is ridiculously easy in 2019. I can wave my phone at a contactless payment terminal to buy groceries, order my groceries online and have them delivered to me, and my therapist just told me there’s an app that’ll deliver your meds to you.

You know what’s not easy to buy? Tickets.

Recently, a coworker came to my desk to let me know that seminal sad indie singer-songwriter...

20 Comments

Matías S. Zavia Matías S. Zavia May 11, 2019.

Roban 180 millones de dólares a los anunciantes mostrando anuncios reales a gente que no existe

Roban 180 millones de dólares a los anunciantes mostrando anuncios reales a gente que no existe

Una investigación de la firma de seguridad White Ops ha destapado la mayor trama de clics fraudulentos de la historia, que ha generado pérdidas de más de 180 millones de dólares a la industria publicitaria. Se trata de una botnet creada por ciberdelincuentes rusos para mostrar anuncios reales a gente de mentira.

Apodada “Methbot” por las referencias a la metanfetamina en el código, esta...

Divination Bot Divination Bot Apr 09, 2019. 12 comments

Our Astrologer Robot Is Back With Your April Horoscopes

Our Astrologer Robot Is Back With Your April Horoscopes

Welcome to AIstrology. With the help of research scientist Janelle Shane, we developed a bot to generate monthly horoscopes. Its language faculties will be tweaked and trained as time goes on. Sometimes they may more closely resemble human syntax, and other times, well... less so.

There is a desire, granite smooth but yielding. We wish to go back to the stars! Today the day has come.

I am...

12 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Mar 03, 2019. 4 comments

Facebook Is Suing Four Chinese Companies for Allegedly Selling Fake Accounts

Facebook Is Suing Four Chinese Companies for Allegedly Selling Fake Accounts

Facebook is suing four companies and three individuals based in China it alleges have been creating and “promoting the sale of fake accounts, likes and followers” on Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, as well as other social media sites, the company announced on Friday. In addition to the alleged efforts to create fraudulent accounts, Facebook said the companies infringed on its...

4 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Jan 31, 2019. 2 comments

New York Attorney General Finds That Sale of Social Media Bots, Fake Engagement Is Illegal

New York Attorney General Finds That Sale of Social Media Bots, Fake Engagement Is Illegal

The New York Attorney General’s office has announced a settlement with Devumi LLC, a social media-marketing firm whose tactics were exposed by the New York Times last year, in what the office wrote is “the first finding by a law enforcement agency that selling fake social media engagement and using stolen identities to engage in online activity is illegal.”

The Times expose detailed how...

2 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Jan 23, 2019. 20 comments

Congress Now Wants Twitter to Explain How That Covington Teens Video Went Viral

Congress Now Wants Twitter to Explain How That Covington Teens Video Went Viral

Pretty much half the news media is backpedaling from their coverage of footage of white Covington Catholic High School students in MAGA hats taunting and harassing a Native American elder , Nathan Phillips, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in DC amid the Indigenous Peoples’ March earlier this month. Footage of the incident went viral online, and numerous high-profile publications covered...

20 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Nov 01, 2018. 5 comments

Twitter Rolls Out Feature to Report Bots, Also Anyone You Think Is a Bot

Twitter Rolls Out Feature to Report Bots, Also Anyone You Think Is a Bot

Twitter has rolled out another feature intended to cut down on spam and misinformation efforts—adding suspected bots, malicious links, and spammy hashtags to the “suspicious or spam” category users can choose when reporting violations of its terms of service.

Twitter’s official Safety account posted news of the feature early on Wednesday afternoon:

“The new reporting flow will allow us to...

5 Comments

Tom McKay Tom McKay Sep 19, 2018. 13 comments

Court Rules FCC Must Release Records That Could Explain Fraudulent Net Neutrality Comments

Court Rules FCC Must Release Records That Could Explain Fraudulent Net Neutrality Comments

A federal judge ruled last week that the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission (currently chaired by Donald Trump appointee Ajit Pai) must release records related to millions of fraudulent public comments filed before the agency repealed net neutrality guidelines last year, Ars Technica reported.

According to Ars Technica’s report, the records in question could shed light as...

13 Comments

AJ Dellinger AJ Dellinger Jul 07, 2018. 9 comments

Twitter is Suspending More Than One Million Accounts Per Day in Latest Purge

Twitter is Suspending More Than One Million Accounts Per Day in Latest Purge

Apparently sick of being criticized by everyone from US Congress to Seth Rogan for not doing enough to purge its platform of bots, trolls, and malicious foreign actors, Twitter has started liberally dropping the ban hammer on suspicious accounts, suspending more than 70 million users over the course of May and June.

The massive purge, which amounts to more than one million accounts getting...

9 Comments

George Dvorsky George Dvorsky Jun 30, 2018. 8 comments

The International Space Station’s New AI-Powered Bot Is Actually Pretty Cool

The International Space Station’s New AI-Powered Bot Is Actually Pretty Cool

Introducing CIMON, a floating, basketball-sized robot that will serve as a companion and assistant to crew members aboard the International Space Station. Infused with artificial intelligence, the floating bot is reminiscent of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey, but far less evil. We hope.

Earlier today, SpaceX successfully launched a recycled Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida carrying...

8 Comments

Matías S. Zavia Matías S. Zavia Jun 21, 2018. 6 comments

La gente está acudiendo a Telegram para ver los goles del Mundial de Rusia en tiempo real

La gente está acudiendo a Telegram para ver los goles del Mundial de Rusia en tiempo real

Estamos en 2018 y hay Mundial. En Rusia, para más señas. A muchos seres humanos nos gusta esta competición deportiva, pero no todos podemos ver los partidos en directo. Algunos optan por verlos en diferido, otros miramos resúmenes en Internet... Pero los forofos que están viviendo en 2039 acuden a Telegram y Messenger para recibir un vídeo de cada gol en tiempo real.

Y con “tiempo real” quiero...

6 Comments

Jun 06, 2018. 7 comments

How Many Social Media Users Are Real People?

How Many Social Media Users Are Real People?

Most social media users know that bot accounts are among us, whether as fake voters with loud opinions or obsessive re-tweeters of a single corporation’s content. When it comes to telling many ‘fake’ accounts from real ones, however—or just knowing how many non-individuals are active online—even savvy users are mostly in the dark.

Tallies suggest there are over three billion social media users...

7 Comments

Rhett Jones Rhett Jones Mar 11, 2018. 11 comments

Gigantic Study of Fake News Online Finds the Enemy Is Humanity

Gigantic Study of Fake News Online Finds the Enemy Is Humanity

Over the last year, “fake news” has gone from being a niche concern that charlatans exploited for profit, to a code red existential threat to the fabric of society—or something in between. But our scientific understanding of how and why false stories spread is still limited. Researchers at MIT’s Media Lab are diving in to correct that blind spot and for anyone looking to point a finger, we...

11 Comments

Eduardo Marín Eduardo Marín Mar 08, 2018. 3 comments

Los bots con cuentas falsas de Amazon Prime están infestando Twitch, pero la compañía lo niega

Los bots con cuentas falsas de Amazon Prime están infestando Twitch, pero la compañía lo niega

Algunos streamers de Twitch han recibido docenas de miles de suscriptores nuevos durante las últimas dos semanas, lo que ha despertado serias sospechas acerca de que los bots están infestando la plataforma, y la culpa sería de Amazon Prime.

Demandan a un menor por hacer trampas en Fortnite (y su mamá sale a defenderlo)

El mes pasado, el estudio de desarrollo Epic tomó una inusual decisión:...

3 Comments

Dec 15, 2017. 9 comments

Lo que realmente sucedió con aquella IA que Facebook apagó porque había creado su propio lenguaje

Lo que realmente sucedió con aquella IA que Facebook apagó porque había creado su propio lenguaje

Hace poco, las noticias sobre una investigación de Facebook en torno al aprendizaje automático ha generado pánico en diversos lugares y muchos creen que la Skynet de Terminator acaba de ser creada.

“Los ingenieros de Facebook entran en pánico y desconectan una AI (inteligencia artificial) debido a que los ‘bots’ desarrollaron su propio lenguaje” escribió un medio....

9 Comments

Matt Novak Matt Novak Nov 03, 2017. 9 comments

That John Kelly Twitter Account Is Totally Fake

That John Kelly Twitter Account Is Totally Fake

Have you seen this Twitter account from General John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff? Some tweets from the account have started to go viral on conservative Twitter in recent days, as it gains followers at a rapid pace. But it’s totally fake.

How do we know that it’s not really General John Kelly? Well, for one thing, the account slips the word “parody” in the middle of its bio:

White...

9 Comments

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