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Twitter Launches New Bot Labels to Identify Bot Accounts In-Stream

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Twitter Launches New Bot Labels to Identify Bot Accounts In-Stream

Twitter is taking the next step in adding more transparency to the tweet process by rolling out its new bot labels, which developers will now be able to voluntarily add to automated accounts.

As you can see in this example, now, bot accounts on Twitter will be displayed with a new robot icon next to the profile name, and a marker denoting that the account is automated.

The same will also be displayed in the tweet feed, with an ‘Automated’ tag beneath the profile name on tweets.

Twitter’s using the voluntary labels as a means to help highlight ‘Good Bots’, as opposed to bot accounts that are used for negative purpose.

As explained by Twitter:

#GoodBots help people stay apprised of useful, entertaining, and relevant information from fun emoji mashups to breaking news. The label will give people on Twitter additional information about the bot and its purpose to help them decide which accounts to follow, engage with, and trust.”

So it’s not designed to be an all-encompassing, bot vs human-controlled identifier at this stage. But it’s a step in that direction – and with bots long being identified as a key problem on the platform, it could, eventually, be a key element in combating misuse. 

Twitter’s been developing the new bot identifier for some time, and launched a live test of the option back in September. Twitter also rolled out an update for developers back in 2020 which made the identification of bot accounts a requirement of using its platform. That, essentially, means that operating a bot account without declaring that it’s a bot is against Twitter’s rules, which gives the platform more direct means to remove accounts which don’t disclose such.

The new bot labels are the next step, which, at least in theory, should mean that all legitimate bot accounts on the platform will now be labeled as such, which will make it easier for users to understand who and what they’re engaging with, and could have a big impact on content distribution and amplification.

Maybe.

While Twitter is implementing new rules around bot usage, that doesn’t mean that those seeking to use bots for negative purpose will adhere to such.

As noted, Twitter bots have repeatedly been identified as a key distributor of misinformation and/or divisive messaging, with people using bots to influence tweet trends and make movements appear more popular than they are.

In the wake of the 2016 US Election, for example, researchers uncovered “huge, inter-connected Twitter bot networks” which had been used to influence political discussion, the largest of which incorporating some 500,000 fake accounts. In 2018, Wired reported that bot profiles often dominated political news streams, with bots contributing up to 60% of tweet activity around some events.

Even more recently, reports have suggested that the Chinese Government has been using social media bots to ‘advance an authoritarian agenda’ via global trends.

These types of operators are not likely to voluntarily disclose themselves via these new labels, so while Twitter’s new bot tags are a good thing for general transparency, they won’t necessarily stop the misuse of bots for such actions.   

But maybe, as noted, they’re another step in the right direction, and in combination with more specific rules on the use of bots, and improved detection processes, Twitter’s now taking more direct steps in addressing its bot problem, and helping users avoid potential manipulation.

It can only help – Twitter’s new bot labels are being rolled out to all self-reported bot accounts from today.




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Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer: Born or made great?

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The Big 3 have won a total of 56 Grand Slams in their career.

Ecogastronomy, puppet arts, viticulture and enology, influencer marketing, or bakery science. In 2022, you can become anything you want and there are even specialized undergraduate degrees to help you gain all the relevant skills at university. Essentially, you can now be academically trained in any subject and learn practically everything you need to excel at your job.

In the context of sports, and particularly tennis, this is no different. There are plenty of degrees you can pursue to complement your career as an athlete, physiotherapist, or coach with useful knowledge about the human body, anatomy, and health.

This basically means that professional tennis players of the 21st century can complement their extraordinary talent and training routine with a relevant education and an elite team of professional and eminent physiotherapists, coaches, PR, and strategists. Ultimately, players have countless tools that can help them win matches, stay healthy, and be well-liked by the press and the fans.

You can find these ‘A teams’ all around the tour nowadays: players of the former next gen have taken advantage of their early success to incorporate experts on every specialty into their team and others like Carlos Alcaraz or Holger Rune have come directly in the tour alongside first-class teams headed by former World No. 1 and Slam champion Juan Carlos Ferrero and respected coach Patrick Mouratoglou respectively.

Understandably, tennis legends who have been on tour for almost two decades have progressively adapted to the quest for perfection too. You must remember Novak Djokovic’s radical diet change mid-career or Rafael Nadal’s loyal sports doctor for most of his injury-prone career.

21st-century professional tennis players have learned it all as far as tennis skills are concerned. In fact, objectively any top-100 player can produce Djokovesque cross-court backhands or Nadalese down-the-line forehands any time – we have seen rallies of the highest level in practices, Challengers and junior tournaments.

So, one must think that if every player on the tour can produce top-level tennis and is surrounded by the perfect team, what is stopping them from winning 20+ Grand Slam titles like Nadal, Roger Federer, and Djokovic?


Nadal, Federer and Djokovic — the Big 3

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in discussion at the 2022 Laver Cup.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in discussion at the 2022 Laver Cup.

The Big 3 — Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic — are living proof that in life there are things you just can’t learn, despite our self-help books saying otherwise. Tennis is different from other mainstream sports in that it remains an individual and extremely mental sport.

These three players belong at a higher level than anyone else, and it is not only the 63 combined Slam titles that separate them from their opponents. It is clearly not their physical form either, quite the opposite currently. It is the ability to remain serene, focused, confident, and indifferent to the crowd, pressure, and expectations, to play one point at a time, whether it is a break or a championship point, and to extract it from the surrounding context.

Being the best of all time does, however, not imply being the better player in all matches. We don’t have to go far back to find an example of a time when Nadal and Djokovic were the clear underdogs in a match. For instance, in Wimbledon 2022 we saw Nadal win a match with an abdominal tear and an average 80-mph serve speed (on a grasscourt!) against Taylor Fritz, a top American player in his best-ever season.

In essence, the three GOATs have had the ability to know how to win even when they are the worst players on the court, and if that greatness is something we all could learn or train for, it would stop being called so and we would see it more often.

Whether it is the experience, intelligence or just intrinsic and unique talent that has led to Big 3’s unprecedented achievements we won’t ever exactly know and, I am afraid, they are giving no opportunity to the so-called Next Gen to even dream of replicating their record book and help us make sense of what it takes to become a tennis master.

In any case, we can only feel extremely fortunate to have lived on the same timeline as the greatest trivalry in sports history. All of us, but the Next Gen, can only hope Nadal and Djokovic do not follow Federer’s retirement path anytime soon. And one only needs to watch their last matches against each other to (rightfully) assume that might not happen anytime soon.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

Poll : Who will end up with most Grand Slam titles?

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

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Meta Could be Exploring Paid Blue Checkmarks on Facebook and Instagram

It seems like Elon Musk’s chaotic management approach at Twitter is having some broader impacts, with more companies reportedly considering lay-offs in the wake of Musk culling 70% of Twitter staff (and keeping the app running), and Meta now apparently also considering charging for blue checkmarks in its apps.

Yes, the Twitter Blue approach to making people pay for verification, which hasn’t proven overly popular on Twitter itself, is now also seemingly in consideration at Meta as well.

According to a new finding by reverse engineering pro Alessandro Paluzzi, there’s a new mention in the codebase of both Facebook and Instagram of a ‘paid blue badge’.

Paluzzi also shared a screenshot of the code with TechCrunch:

That does appear to refer to a subscription service for both apps, which could well give you a blue verification badge as a result.

Mets has neither confirmed nor denied the project, but it does seem, at least on the surface, that it’s considering offering checkmarks as another paid option – which still seems strange, considering the original purpose of verification, which is to signify noteworthy people or profiles in the app.

If people can just buy that, then it’s no longer of any value, right?

Evidently, that’s not the case, and with Twitter already bringing in around $7 million per quarter from Twitter Blue subscriptions, maybe Meta’s looking for a means to supplement its own intake, and make up for lost ad dollars and/or rising costs of its metaverse development.

It seems counter-intuitive, but I guess, if people will pay, and the platforms aren’t concerned about there being confusion as to what the blue ticks actually mean.

I guess, more money is good?

Meta has, in the past, said that it won’t charge a subscription fee to access its apps. But this, of course, would be supplemental – users wouldn’t have to pay, but they could buy a blue checkmark if they wanted, and use the implied value of recognition for their own purposes.

Which seems wrong, but tough times, higher costs – maybe every app needs to start digging deeper.

Meta hasn’t provided any info or confirmation at this stage, but we’ll keep you updated on any progress.



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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta’s Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

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YouTube Shorts Exceed 50B Daily Views, Meta's Reels Doubles Plays 02/03/2023

YouTube Shorts and Meta’s Reels are both making
headway in the intensely competitive video shorts sector.  

During Alphabet’s Q4 earnings call on Thursday, CEO Sundar Pichai reported that YouTube Shorts has surpassed 50 billion
daily views. That’s up from the 30 billion reported in Q1 2022.

However, it still …



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