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Big Oil’s Lies Are Finally Getting the Public Scrutiny They Deserve on Social Media

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The internet is hell, particularly social media. In this series, we discuss the ways it’s flawed and how it could be better.

After the Capitol was overrun by insurrectionists, Chevron sent out a tweet calling for a “peaceful transition of the U.S. government.” Brand tweets are always fraught, particularly as democracy stood on a knife’s edge. Doubly so if you’re a brand that, say, funded the members of Congress that incited an attempt to overthrow the government.

The backlash to Chevron was swift. Even as the oil company pinned its tweet, thousands of Twitter users piled onto it calling out its donations to seditionists, its role in debasing democracy abroad, and human rights violations it committed in the pursuit of profit. Other oil companies and industry groups have also seen a tidal wave of righteous anger wash over their tweets. “Greentrolling” has become an increasingly prevalent online version of folks picketing outside companies’ headquarters to call out malfeasance.

“Some people give affirmations, some people do other things to keep themselves sane,” Mary Heglar, a climate essayist and proponent of greentrolling, said. “I cyberbully fossil fuel companies.”

Oil companies’ goals are pretty straightforward: Dig up more oil and make as much money as possible doing it. They’ve done that in part by lying and mastering the art of public relations. Thanks in part to decades of ad campaigns, opinion pages, and even “both sides” news stories, they’ve been able to successfully delay climate action. But the 2010s and now 2020s have seen that success begin to erode.

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For one, investigative journalists exposed the fact that oil companies knew the risks of climate change and lied to stop the world from addressing it. The climate crisis has also intensified, making it impossible to ignore who—or in the case of corporations, what—is responsible for it.

While brands like Chevron and Exxon have shown themselves ready adopters of traditional media, their use to social media has proven to be a bit more perilous. The two-way nature of communication means lies or misleading claims that would go unchallenged in an ad in a newspaper or on a webpage instead can become a new front in the war to destroy them and protect the climate. No Big Oil tweet is safe from getting rolled up on by a gang of pissed off people.

One of Heglar’s first successful tweets going after an oil company came in 2019 when BP asked people to calculate their carbon footprint. Her succinct response: “Bitch what’s yours???” In three words, the question neatly undercuts so much of the greenwashing oil companies have pivoted to today as a form of kinder, gentler climate delay. The average American’s carbon footprint is 16 tons per year. Sure, folks taking some individuals actions would be all well and good. But a multinational oil company people calculate their carbon footprint and “share your pledge” for how to reduce it is farcical. BP is responsible for 34 billion tons of carbon pollution since 1965. An analysis by Oil Change International last year found every oil company’s climate plan—including BP’s—were essentially trash that would allow their footprints to balloon and fail to protect workers when the carbon bubble does burst.

A central aim of greentrolling is to clean up the polluted information space by exposing the utter hollowness of oil companies’ new rhetoric. Piling onto oil companies won’t necessarily convince them to change to course on their emissions, but it does have the power to reach multiple audiences with a stake in the battle.

“If you go yell at Chevron or Exxon in a conversation they started, the only people are going to see that are your followers and Chevron’s followers,” Darren Linvill, a communications expert at Clemson who has studied trolling, said.

That could help reinforce climate campaigners’ sense of solidarity. Heglar said it’s a better way to focus #climatetwitter’s energy rather than sniping at each other, a not-uncommon occurrence.

“We fight with each other over extremely stupid nuance’s and it gets really ugly. It’s such a waste of energy. I don’t think Kate Marvel,” she said, referring to a NASA climate scientist, “should have a harder time on Twitter than Chevron.”

Heglar also added that it’s fun, which really why else are we online anyways?

There’s also an outside chance debunking oil companies could pick off or a few of their followers, though as Linvill noted, Twitter isn’t exactly known as a place for rational conversations between opposing viewpoints. He also suggested “greentrolling” might not be the best moniker to win hearts and minds given the negative association with state-sponsored trolling and right-wing groups’ efforts to go after journalists.

Climate groups have staged tweet storms targeting companies and have social media accounts dedicated to checking misinformation. Greentrolling, though, is less centrally organized and reminiscent of political fandoms from Bernie Bros to the KHive to the Yang Gang. (Though its targets are not people but corporations.) Having personally been on the receiving end of a few of those groups’ ire at one point or another, I can tell you it is extremely disruptive to both your mental state and makes you start to second guess yourself. Though oil companies are soulless corporations, they could very well falter in the face of online heat.

“Brigading of corporate pages, if nothing else, works to deny that marketing channel to the energy companies,” Linvill said. “Social media is now central to every corporate PR And marketing plan, regardless of the size of the company. These tactics may force those companies to make different choices.”

Just as oil companies’ tweets are only one part of their public relations campaigns, so greentrolling is only one facet of attempts to constrain the industry. Among other things, advocates are pushing treaties to phase out fossil fuels, forcing banks to stop funding extraction, and even going after the advertising firms themselves that continue to work with Big Oil. All these efforts are channeling a growing anger at the industry rather than blaming individuals for the climate crisis.

“The more that they lose their social license to operate, the more that the lies that they’ve told about themselves get fractured in public, the more that their market share lessens,” Heglar said.

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OpenAI Introduces ChatGPT Plus with Monthly Subscription of $20

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Open AI - Chat GPT

OpenAI, the leading artificial intelligence research laboratory, has launched a new product – ChatGPT Plus. The new product is an advanced version of its previous language model, ChatGPT, and is available for a monthly subscription of $20. The company aims to provide a more sophisticated and efficient conversational AI tool to its users through this new product.

ChatGPT Plus is a state-of-the-art language model that uses advanced deep learning algorithms to generate human-like responses to text inputs. The model has been trained on a massive corpus of text data, allowing it to generate coherent and contextually relevant responses. The model is designed to handle a wide range of conversational topics and can be integrated into various applications, such as chatbots, customer support systems, and virtual assistants.

One of the main advantages of ChatGPT Plus over its predecessor, ChatGPT, is its ability to generate responses in a more human-like manner. The model has been fine-tuned to incorporate more advanced language processing techniques, which enable it to better understand the context and tone of a conversation. This makes it possible for the model to generate more nuanced and appropriate responses, which can greatly improve the user experience.

In addition to its advanced language processing capabilities, ChatGPT Plus also offers improved performance in terms of response generation speed and efficiency. The model has been optimized to run on faster hardware and has been fine-tuned to generate responses more quickly. This makes it possible for the model to handle a larger volume of requests, making it an ideal solution for businesses with high traffic websites or customer support centers.

The monthly subscription fee of $20 for ChatGPT Plus makes it an affordable solution for businesses of all sizes. The company has designed the pricing model in such a way that it is accessible to businesses of all sizes, regardless of their budget. This makes it possible for small businesses to take advantage of advanced conversational AI technology, which can greatly improve their customer engagement and support.

OpenAI has also made it easy to integrate ChatGPT Plus into various applications. The company has provided a comprehensive API that allows developers to easily integrate the model into their applications. The API supports a wide range of programming languages, making it possible for developers to use the technology regardless of their preferred programming language. This makes it possible for businesses to quickly and easily incorporate conversational AI into their operations.

In conclusion, OpenAI’s launch of ChatGPT Plus is a significant development in the field of conversational AI. The new product offers advanced language processing capabilities and improved performance, making it an ideal solution for businesses of all sizes. The affordable pricing model and easy integration make it accessible to businesses of all sizes, and the advanced language processing capabilities make it possible for businesses to improve their customer engagement and support. OpenAI’s ChatGPT Plus is set to revolutionize the conversational AI industry and bring advanced technology within the reach of businesses of all sizes.

Visit OpenAI.com to read more and to get the latest news about ChatGPT.

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What can ChatGPT do?

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ChatGPT Explained

ChatGPT is a large language model developed by OpenAI that is trained on a massive amount of text data. It is capable of generating human-like text and has been used in a variety of applications, such as chatbots, language translation, and text summarization.

One of the key features of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is similar to human writing. This is achieved through the use of a transformer architecture, which allows the model to understand the context and relationships between words in a sentence. The transformer architecture is a type of neural network that is designed to process sequential data, such as natural language.

Another important aspect of ChatGPT is its ability to generate text that is contextually relevant. This means that the model is able to understand the context of a conversation and generate responses that are appropriate to the conversation. This is accomplished by the use of a technique called “masked language modeling,” which allows the model to predict the next word in a sentence based on the context of the previous words.

One of the most popular applications of ChatGPT is in the creation of chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that simulate human conversation and can be used in customer service, sales, and other applications. ChatGPT is particularly well-suited for this task because of its ability to generate human-like text and understand context.

Another application of ChatGPT is language translation. By training the model on a large amount of text data in multiple languages, it can be used to translate text from one language to another. The model is able to understand the meaning of the text and generate a translation that is grammatically correct and semantically equivalent.

In addition to chatbots and language translation, ChatGPT can also be used for text summarization. This is the process of taking a large amount of text and condensing it into a shorter, more concise version. ChatGPT is able to understand the main ideas of the text and generate a summary that captures the most important information.

Despite its many capabilities and applications, ChatGPT is not without its limitations. One of the main challenges with using language models like ChatGPT is the risk of generating text that is biased or offensive. This can occur when the model is trained on text data that contains biases or stereotypes. To address this, OpenAI has implemented a number of techniques to reduce bias in the training data and in the model itself.

In conclusion, ChatGPT is a powerful language model that is capable of generating human-like text and understanding context. It has a wide range of applications, including chatbots, language translation, and text summarization. While there are limitations to its use, ongoing research and development is aimed at improving the model’s performance and reducing the risk of bias.

** The above article has been written 100% by ChatGPT. This is an example of what can be done with AI. This was done to show the advanced text that can be written by an automated AI.

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]Searchenginejournal.com

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