Elon Musk promised to save us from the bots; we got ads for fake luxury goods instead

William of England
By William of England 8 Min Read

I take into consideration this grand imaginative and prescient of his typically. Many journalists, together with myself, can admit that we’re hopelessly addicted to the platform. And what I’ve seen recently after I get my repair and scroll by means of my feed, is a complete lot of ads from customers who don’t have any posts, and are selling fake luxury goods. As a reporter on this beat, I’m in fact pondering: How does Musk not have a large challenge with this?

There are additionally bots that reply to tweets with nonsense, have you ever ever seen that? Recently, I got an Ethereum bot that replied to my tweet linking (what I assumed) was the proprietor to the bot. Against my higher judgment, I messaged the bot proprietor. 

“I spam and make money with it,” they instructed me after I reached out. I replied that I feel it’s fascinating that folks personal these bots on a platform that lauds itself for stopping bots with blue checks. They responded, “Elon did a great job to prevent bots. Some things are just not possible, but he eliminated already 80% of spammer[s]. These blue checks accounts are hacked. It’s like you give your password to [someone], nothing to do with ‘bot account.’”

Well, that’s nice. It’s not a “bot account” scenario, it’s an undisclosed variety of customers getting hacked scenario. Yet these blue verify accounts are actually shopping for ads in bulk. I got here throughout a dozen or so ads simply this week of those blue verify accounts, all with little to no posts, scamming fake luxury goods. Has Musk forgotten this mission, or simply given up?

What I’m pondering as I see these scammy entrepreneurs is simply how determined the firm is for advertisers. X has significantly bled important advertisers—dropping doubtlessly $75 million in income simply this quarter, according to the New York Times. Disney, IBM, Apple, and extra have paused promoting. Meanwhile, Musk took the stage at the New York Times DealBook Summit, and actually stated “f–ck you” to advertisers. He known as out Disney CEO Bob Iger particularly, too. Great technique we have right here!

Then there’s X CEO Linda Yaccarino, who, we reported solely final week, instructed employees to “put your heads together to bring new revenue into the company” due to so many advertisers fleeing thanks to Musk’s anti-Semitic feedback. Yaccarino has publicly and internally praised the “candid” feedback Musk made at the convention, but they’re nonetheless working to get these advertisers again. Quite odd?

“What this advertising boycott is going to do is, it’s going to kill the company,” Musk stated on the DealBook stage. “The whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company, and we’ll document it in great detail.”

He undoubtedly has that proper. As I watch spam accounts overtake my timeline, the identical customers Musk claimed to combat in opposition to, I ponder if he’s misplaced one in every of the solely enterprise plans for X he had. I assume I can purchase a pleasant luxury purse for $100. Thanks, Elon!

Kylie Robison

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Today’s version was curated by David Meyer.


Google vs. Microsoft. Continuing the grand custom of U.S. Big Tech companies attacking each other in Europe, Google has urged the U.Ok.’s antitrust regulator to crack down on Microsoft over its cloud practices. “With Microsoft’s licensing restrictions in particular, U.K. customers are left with no economically reasonable alternative but to use Azure as their cloud services provider, even if they prefer the prices, quality, security, innovations, and features of rivals,” sniffed Google in a letter to the Competition and Markets Authority, which is investigating each Microsoft and Amazon over probably anticompetitive cloud techniques, according to Reuters.

Blue Origin go well with. A whistleblower has sued Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’s house firm, for allegedly retaliating in opposition to him for highlighting issues of safety and a hostile work surroundings. As TechCrunch reports, Craig Stoker complained about then-CEO Bob Smith in mid-2022, and claims Smith was cleared after an insufficient HR investigation—Stoker was terminated months later.

TikTok block blocked. A federal choose has blocked Montana’s ban on TikTok, saying the measure, set to take impact on Jan. 1, is unconstitutional. As the Associated Press notes, this isn’t the ultimate ruling on the first-in-the-U.S. ban, however anyhow, right here’s U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy: “Despite the state’s attempt to defend [the law] as a consumer protection bill, the current record leaves little doubt that Montana’s legislature and attorney general were more interested in targeting China’s ostensible role in TikTok than with protecting Montana consumers.”


“We have the technologies to avoid the worst of climate chaos, if we act now … The economics are clear: The global shift to renewables is inevitable. The only question is how much heating our planet will endure before it happens.”

—UN Secretary-General António Guterres, addressing delegates at COP28 in Dubai


Jewish tech leaders met with TikTok’s CEO to increase considerations that the platform is biased towards pro-Palestine content material, by Michal Lev-Ram

‘If you’re ever in an argument with one other automotive, you’ll win’—Elon Musk begins promoting Cybertrucks as the ‘finest in apocalypse technology,’ by Christiaan Hetzner

Cathie Wood simply had her finest month ever—however buyers aren’t satisfied the ARK growth goes to final, by Bloomberg

Lucid dream startup says engineers can write code of their sleep. Work could by no means be the identical, by Rachyl Jones

Startups climate a dismal yr throughout which 543 have already declared chapter or shut down: ‘You can’t sugarcoat it,’ by Bloomberg

Meta closes almost 4,800 accounts it says China-based actors had been exploiting to repost Twitter content material and polarize U.S. voters, by the Associated Press


Cybersecurity guidelines. EU lawmakers have struck a deal on the bloc’s new Cyber Resilience Act, which can introduce new necessities for every part from sensible house devices to toys. Manufacturers can have to conduct cybersecurity danger assessments of their wares from the design course of on, be clear with prospects about that safety, and observe official bug-handling processes.

As Euronews reports, the laws was tabled simply over a yr in the past, in the context of fears over Russian and Chinese hacking. The guidelines come into power in just a few years’ time, and can in fact have an effect on corporations round the world who promote their related merchandise in the EU. But it received’t cowl cloud-based software program.

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