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Twitter ordered to give Musk additional bot account data

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Twitter will have to turn over additional account data to Elon Musk as part of their legal fight

Twitter will have to turn over additional account data to Elon Musk as part of their legal fight – Copyright Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc/AFP –

A US judge told Twitter on Thursday to surrender more data to Elon Musk on fake accounts, a key issue the billionaire is using to try to cancel his buyout bid.

While Judge Kathaleen McCormick allowed the Tesla boss’s team an opening to bolster its argument that Musk was misled, she chastised them for “absurdly broad” requests for “trillions upon trillions of data points.”

The judge ordered Twitter to hand over data on 9,000 accounts the firm audited at the end of 2021, which opens the door for that information to be used in Musk’s effort to quit the $44 billion deal.

“Some additional data from plaintiff (Twitter) seems warranted,” McCormick wrote, without elaborating, in her four-page ruling.

Musk has argued Twitter was dishonest on the number of false or spam accounts, prompting strong denials and a lawsuit from the social media firm that has led to a trial set for mid-October.

Musk’s lawyers pushed hard in a hearing Wednesday to force the firm to turn over mountains of information, while seizing upon a freshly revealed Twitter whistleblower’s claims of serious flaws inside the company. 

Twitter lawyer Bradley Wilson countered that the company deceived nobody, and that Musk wants a “do-over” regarding questions he should have asked before he made his unsolicited buyout offer early this year.

The firm opposed handing over certain types of data for reasons including the potential to violate user privacy protected by law, its attorney Wilson argued.

Even if Musk’s experts come to a different conclusion about the number of spam accounts at Twitter, that would not amount to a breach significant enough to let him break the buyout contract, Twitter attorneys argue.

Whistleblower Peiter Zatko’s complaint to US authorities accuses Twitter of issuing untrue statements on account numbers because “if accurate measurements ever became public, it would harm the image and valuation of the company.”

It was not immediately clear whether the complaint, and its use by Musk’s attorneys, will significantly alter the course of the case.

Twitter’s lawyers had expressed concern that Musk could misuse sensitive data they turn over to his lawyers.

The judge said the billionaire’s team “have agreed to treat this data as highly confidential.”

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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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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

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Podcast Marketing Statistics for Businesses [Infographic]

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular content format, providing on-demand, topical material covering virtually any subject that you can think of.

Indeed, according to estimates, over 130 million people will listen to podcasts monthly in the US this year, which could also provide significant opportunities for marketers to tap into this captive audience, and reach them with relevant ads and offers.

If you’re considering getting into podcasting or podcast advertising, this will help. The team from Spiralytics have put together a collection of podcast consumption stats and notes, which could help guide your thinking around the format.

Check out the full infographic below.

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