Sunday, April 16, 2023

Ubiquitous fake crowds

The Washington Post writes: "The Russian government has become far more successful at manipulating social media and search engine rankings than previously known, boosting ... [propaganda] with hundreds of thousands of fake online accounts ... detected ... only about 1% of the time."

Fake crowds can fake popularity. It's easy to manipulate trending, rankers, and recommender algorithms. All you have to do is create a thousand sockpuppet accounts and have them like and share all your stuff. Wisdom of the crowds is broken.

This can be fixed, but first you have to see the problem clearly. Then you'll see that you can't just use the behavior from every account anymore for wisdom of the crowd algorithms. You have to use only reliable accounts and toss everything spammy or unknown.

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