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Twitter’s open-source algorithm: Is transparency the best policy?

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Twitter has accepted a $44 billion bid from Elon Musk to acquire the company

Twitter has accepted a $44 billion bid from Elon Musk to acquire the company – Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP SCOTT OLSON

The recent announcement that Elon Musk purchased Twitter for $44 billion has created nervousness among many, especially over the return of questionable political groups to the micro-blogging platform.

In addition, experts have been speculating about the impact his ownership would have on the social media service.

While Musk has proposed many changes, many in the cybersecurity community have critiqued his desire to make Twitter’s algorithm open-source. In particular, media analysts have pointed out that this could invite malicious actors to “game” the algorithm and make Twitter a target for more intense cyber-attacks.

Looking into the matter for Digital Journal is Cybersecurity expert Derek E. Brink, Vice President & Research Fellow at Aberdeen Strategy & Research.

Brink is not adopting the same line as other cybersecurity commentariat, noting: “The idea that algorithms should be open and transparent has been considered best practice for nearly 140 years. It’s called Kerkhof’s Principle, which holds that trying to keep the algorithms secret — which many refer to as “security by obscurity” — is the wrong approach to maintaining security.”

The principle holds that a cryptosystem should be secure, even if everything about the system, except the key, is public knowledge. It follows, the fewer and simpler the secrets that one must keep to ensure system security, the easier it is to maintain system security.

Alternatively, Brink states: “Instead, the algorithms themselves should be public knowledge — or as put by Shannon’s Maxim (another version of the same principle), we should operate under the assumption that “the enemy knows the system.”

This means: “In cybersecurity, openness and transparency has consistently led to algorithms that are better and more secure, not less.”

Addressing those who are taking a different line, Brink says: “For those who raise the concern that an open, transparent algorithm might be “gamed” to provide some advantage — can we not say the same thing about “closed” algorithms? Everyday examples are abundant, for example: how to make your web pages more likely to be found by search engines; how to raise your credit score; how to minimize the likelihood of an IRS audit on your tax return; how to improve your candidacy on job search sites; and how to optimize your personal profile for dating sites, to name just a few.”

Returning to his theme, Brink reiterates: “Openness and transparency about how these algorithms work is the best way to prevent discrimination and corruption – or, as [U.S.] Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis put it, ‘sunlight is the best disinfectant’”.

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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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17 Content Options for Each Stage of the Sales Journey [Infographic]

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17 Content Options for Each Stage of the Sales Journey [Infographic]

Looking to formulate a better content strategy for 2023?

This will help – the team from Orbit Media has put together a listing of 17 content formats, and where they fit within the sales funnel which could provide some inspiration for your planning.

There are some good pointers here, with specific approaches that you can take at each stage of the journey.

Check out the full listing below – while you can read more on the Orbit Media website.

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Meta Soars by Most in Decade, Adding $100 Billion in Value

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Meta Soars by Most in Decade, Adding $100 Billion in Value

Correction: February 2, 2023 This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: An earlier version of this article misstated how much Meta expected to spend on its deal with the virtual reality start-up Within. It is $400 million, not $400 billion. Meta’s stock surged on Thursday …

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