Ifeng.com technology news May 15 Beijing time news, Tesla CEO Elon & Middot; Elon Musk said he would study a random sample of 100 twitter followers to find out if fake/spam accounts on Twitter were less than 5 percent, as the company has long claimed. However, experts in social media, disinformation and statistical analysis say Musk's analysis has serious flaws.
"To find out, my team will randomly select 100 @Twitter followers. I would invite others to repeat the same process and see what they find, "Musk tweeted, spelling out his approach, adding," Pick any account with a large number of followers, ignore the first 1,000 followers and then pick one out of every 10. I'm open to better ideas."
Musk is taking a sample of 100 followers
Dustin & Middot, co-founders of Facebook; Dustin Moskovitz commented on the issue via his Twitter account. He points out that Musk's method is not actually random, using too small a sample and leaving huge room for error. "I think 'don't trust the Twitter team to help take samples' is a red flag in itself." He said.
Carl & Middot, University of Washington; T· Carl T. Bergstrom, one of the authors of a book that helps people make sense of data and avoid being duped by bogus claims on the Internet. A sample of 100 twitter followers on any one account should not be "due diligence" for a $44bn acquisition, he said.
A sample size of 100 people is orders of magnitude smaller than what social media researchers use to study such things, he said. The biggest problem Mr Musk will face with this approach will be selection bias. "There is no reason to believe that followers of the official Twitter account are a representative sample of accounts on the platform. Maybe bots are less likely to follow the account to avoid detection, or maybe they're more likely to follow it to look like a normal account. Who knows? But I just don't understand what Musk has done other than trick us with this stupid sampling plan." (Author/Xiao Yu)
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