The majority of traffic from Elon Musk's X may have been fake during the Super Bowl, report suggests

This week, Super Bowl 2024 shattered records, with the NFL championship broadcast on CBS becoming the most-watched televised event in U.S. history.Also riding high from the big game? Elon Musk’s X. The company formerly known as Twitter published its own press release, lauding Super Bowl LVIII as one of the biggest events ever on the social media platform with more than 10 billion impressions and over 1 billion video views. Tweet may have been deleted However, it appears that a significant portion of that traffic on X could be fake, according to data provided to Mashable by CHEQ, a leading cybersecurity firm that tracks bots and fake users.According to CHEQ, a whopping 75.85 percent of traffic from X to its advertising clients’ websites during the weekend of the Super Bowl was fake. SEE ALSO: Elon Musk’s X comes out in favor of pro-censorship law “I’ve never seen anything even remotely close to 50 percent, not to mention 76 percent,” CHEQ founder and CEO Guy Tytunovich told Mashable regarding X’s fake traffic data. “I’m amazed…I’ve never, ever, ever, ever seen anything even remotely close.”CHEQ’s data for this report is based on 144,000 visits to its clients’ sites that came from X during Super Bowl weekend, from Friday, Feb. 9 up until the end of Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 11. The data was collected from across CHEQ’s 15,000 total clients. It’s a small portion of the relevant data, and it’s not scientifically sampled, but it nonetheless suggests a dramatic trend.CHEQ monitors…The majority of traffic from Elon Musk's X may have been fake during the Super Bowl, report suggests

TikTok and Instagram 'diet' tips to avoid

Plenty of influencers and creators on TikTok and Instagram think they know the right way for you to eat. This feels especially obvious in January and February, when, inspired by New Year’s resolutions, people are searching for ways to lose weight, get in shape, and eat healthy, and food-related wellness content is everywhere on social media. It’s no surprise, then, that many of the tips that become trends or go viral target people’s desire for a secret or surefire way to achieve their goal. But what influencers and creators won’t tell you is that these eating strategies often lack scientific evidence and may even put people at risk for developing disordered eating, says registered dietitian Whitney Trotter, who previously served as program committee manager at the nonprofit organization Project HEAL. “We’re very inundated with quick fixes… That’s why people get so lured and sucked into some of these diets,” Trotter says. SEE ALSO: TikTok ‘fear food’ challenges: Can they help with eating disorder recovery? Mashable asked Trotter, and Rachel Engelhart, a registered dietitian, licensed therapist, and clinical director of the Eating Recovery Center, to identify diet suggestions trending on TikTok and Instagram that people should avoid, as well as signs that such content is having a negative effect on you. Here’s what they had to say: Seed cyclingSeed cycling is the practice of eating specific seeds and nuts that align with the menstrual cycle in a way that positively influences hormone levels. For those who experience intense mood symptoms related…TikTok and Instagram 'diet' tips to avoid

Australia’s Communications Minister Threatens X With “Big Trouble” if It Doesn’t Censor “Misinformation”

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. Australia’s authorities are once again putting pressure on social media, X this time, threatening that the company will face big fines and “big trouble” in general – unless “mis- and dis-” information is censored. And, it is Australia’s new laws, when they come into force this year, that will represent the legal grounds for such actions. The fines would run up to $3 million or 2 percent of annual turnover for “voluntary code of conduct” violations, and $7.8 million or 5 percent of annual turnover in case of lack of compliance with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) “standards.” This transpires from an article published by the Financial Review, citing Communications Minister Michelle Rowland, while the motive behind her last crusade is described as “a litany of issues” now allegedly plaguing X. Rowland went all over the place to accuse X of “not doing enough” – from Taylor Swift deep fakes, to what’s likely a key point of contention – the platform’s decision to reinstate some 6,000 accounts of users previously banned by Twitter. The thinking here seems to be that if the threat is made ahead of time, X will “align” better with Australia’s politics and agree to once again plunge itself into mass censorship. The laws Rowland mentioned were drafted in 2023 with the aim of giving broader powers to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, specifically “to combat mis- and…Australia’s Communications Minister Threatens X With “Big Trouble” if It Doesn’t Censor “Misinformation”

AI Is Inflaming Workplace Surveillance

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. As our workplaces continue to integrate with digital technology, employee privacy might be at a higher risk than ever before. Significant American corporations, like Walmart, Delta Air Lines, T-Mobile, Chevron, and Starbucks, have reportedly enlisted the services of the Ohio-based tech startup, Aware. This firm uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze employee communications through popular apps such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom. The invasion of worker privacy happening is no longer mere conjecture. Known insights about a company’s staff that were previously gained through annual or twice-per-year surveys have been replaced by ongoing monitoring of employee messages via AI. Jeff Schumann, co-founder and CEO of Aware, claimed to CNBC, the purpose is to help businesses “understand the risk within their communications.” He suggests companies gain an understanding of employee sentiment towards any new corporate initiatives or marketing campaigns in real-time. The AI models developed by Aware are designed to scrutinize text and interpret images, supposedly identifying potential issues such as bullying, harassment, discrimination, or even general “toxicity.” However, the company’s surveillance does not stop there. The analytics tool also monitors the overall mood of the workforce. Although this all seems disconcertingly intrusive, Schumann alleges that the tool is incapable of singling out individual employees. However, there is an exception. The eDiscovery tool, separate from the primary analytics tool, will reveal private information under extreme circumstances predetermined by the company. The use of these…AI Is Inflaming Workplace Surveillance

Second Circuit Set To Hear Oral Arguments in Rumble’s Free Speech Case Against New York’s Online Censorship Law

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. The upcoming hearing on February 16 before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit represents a pivotal moment in the fight for free speech online. This court session will address the significant concerns raised by Eugene Volokh, a renowned First Amendment professor and legal blogger, alongside social media platforms Rumble and Locals. These parties have joined forces with the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), a leading national group advocating for free speech, to challenge a contentious New York law. This law, enacted in December 2022, has been a point of contention for its mandate requiring websites to actively engage with speech considered “humiliating” or “vilifying” toward any group based on race, color, religion, or other protected characteristics. The lawsuit, initiated by Volokh, Rumble, and Locals, argues that this requirement infringes on constitutional rights. A federal judge previously sided with this viewpoint, deeming the law likely unconstitutional. Following this, FIRE secured an injunction against the law’s enforcement, prompting New York to appeal. Eugene Volokh confidently anticipates the Second Circuit’s agreement with the District Court’s decision, highlighting the absence of a ‘hate speech’ exception within the First Amendment. “The District Court correctly held that the New York law unconstitutionally targeted certain viewpoints, since there’s no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment,” Volokh stated. Rumble’s Chairman and CEO, Chris Pavlovski, expressed a strong stance against the law, emphasizing Rumble’s dedication to…Second Circuit Set To Hear Oral Arguments in Rumble’s Free Speech Case Against New York’s Online Censorship Law

Open Finance Is National Infrastructure

Dateline: Woking, 14th February 2024.I went to Las Vegas for Money20/20 last year, one of the lighthouse events for me and a great many other fintech fans. I’m not saying this to make you jealous — although you should be, because I had a lot of fun — but because I was thinking about how Cameron D’Ambrosi wrote in a Liminal newsletter (with reference to the 2022 event) that Money 20/20 “isn’t a digital identity conference, but payments are more anchored on digital identity than ever before”. I couldn’t agree more. I was therefore not surprised to see plenty more talk about digital identity there last year, which was great because I never get bored talking about digital identity.What I spent even more time talking about though was open banking. It has arrived in America.ShareStackedI wrote before that governments across the globe were embracing open finance and noted that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) had committed to finalise open banking rules for the U.S. by the end of this year. The Director of the CFB Rohit Chopra said on stage at the 2022 Money20/20 that the Bureau would propose requiring financial institutions offering deposit accounts, credit cards, digital wallets, prepaid cards, and other transaction accounts to set up secure methods (such as APIs) for data sharing. Well, they have.Subscribe nowThe CSFB were on schedule and they published their draft “Required Rulemaking on Personal Financial Data Rights” at the 2023 event. These proposed rules are, make no mistake about it, a big…Open Finance Is National Infrastructure

Treasury Department Admits Political Terms Like “MAGA” and “Trump” Were Used To Surveil Private Bank Transactions

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. The Biden administration acknowledged a controversial surveillance push that utilized politically charged terms like “MAGA,” and “Trump,” to scrutinize private banking transactions. This marks the first time that the administration has publicly recognized the inclusion of these specific keywords in the January 6-linked surveillance. This surveillance approach has sparked criticism from Senator Tim Scott, a leading Republican member of the Senate Banking Committee, who called it a “flagrant violation of Americans’ privacy” in a missive to the Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen. The Senator argued that the process targeted US citizens for simply exercising their constitutionally sanctioned rights without due process. Despite the outcry, this surveillance tactic was initiated under the previous Trump administration shortly after January 6, 2021. Elaborating on this, a letter from the Treasury Department to Senator Scott mentioned “exchange events” organized by its Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Remarkably, search terms like “MAGA” and “Trump” were reportedly created by a financial institution for internal use and shared with FinCEN to flag potentially dubious activities. However, terms like “Kamala” and “Biden” were too. While the name of the origin bank remains undisclosed, sources confirm that FinCEN passed those terms to other banks to support similar searches. “While we are still looking into the details of these events, [January 6] we understand that these FinCEN Exchange events included government and private sector representatives who voluntarily participated in discussions and information exchanges focused on…Treasury Department Admits Political Terms Like “MAGA” and “Trump” Were Used To Surveil Private Bank Transactions

Google Vows To Use AI Models and Work With EU Anti-“Disinformation” Groups and Global “Fact-Checking” Groups To Censor “Misinformation,” “Hate”

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. Does the European Parliament need the “support” for its elections from a tech behemoth like Google? Google certainly thinks so, as does the EU. And Google is doing it the best way it knows how: by manipulating information. A blog post on the giant’s site calls this “surfacing high-quality information to voters.” And with the way content is handled by Google on its platforms and services, where something “surfaces” other things “sink” – i.e., information gets deranked. That’s one thing to keep in mind, and another is the question, who decides and based on what criteria, what “high-quality information” is. One might say, only half-jokingly, “Democracy called and wants to know.” In addition, Google is vowing to use artificial intelligence tech more, to counter what it decides is misinformation around elections, and leverage AI models “to augment our abuse-fighting efforts.” Working with EU’s various “anti-disinformation” groups and “fact-checkers” from around the world to facilitate censorship is also part of the promised “support package,” while the targets of this censorship will be the usual list of online bogeymen (as designated by Google and/or governments), real or imagined: manipulated media, hate, harassment, misinformation… All this will have to be done at scale, Google notes, hence the promise of bringing in more AI (Large Language Models, LLMs, included) than ever. When it comes to “surfacing high-quality information” – some of what’s presented is uncontroversial. If people search…Google Vows To Use AI Models and Work With EU Anti-“Disinformation” Groups and Global “Fact-Checking” Groups To Censor “Misinformation,” “Hate”

House Intelligence Committee Leaders Reportedly Want at Least Part of the Floor Debate on Warrantless Surveillance Bill Reauthorization To Happen in Secret

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. The US law known as the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA), which grants warrantless surveillance powers to spy agencies, will this April once again be up for renewal, but also reform. However, the way lawmakers are said to be going about it is already taken as a cause for concern, given that it involves Section 702, which regulates mass electronic surveillance – and that the House Intelligence Committee reportedly wants to keep some of the debate about this behind closed doors. Any secrecy around an act that is already so burdened with controversy – because although designated as “foreign” it also enables mass surveillance of Americans – is sure to cause a stir, particularly among privacy advocates, but also political opponents. It’s worth noting, as reported by Politico, that even a partially secret House floor debate would be a first in more than 15 years – since 2008, and in general, a rare occurrence – four times in all up to now since 1830. It was in 2008 that FISA received Section 702 after the law amended after 9/11 became the subject of public and media scrutiny due to illegal surveillance. The NSA is collecting and storing people’s communications and the FBI is one of those allowed to use this information without a warrant. Concerning the point of how Section 702, despite being presented as a way to deal with foreign threats actually also…House Intelligence Committee Leaders Reportedly Want at Least Part of the Floor Debate on Warrantless Surveillance Bill Reauthorization To Happen in Secret

George W. Bush Institute Senior Advisor Urges Legacy Media Outlets to “Pre-Bunk” “Disinformation”

If you’re tired of censorship and dystopian threats against civil liberties, subscribe to Reclaim The Net. The George W. Bush Institute has joined in the push to cement and expand various forms of speech control and censorship on legacy media as this election year unfolds. Among those mentioned in a positive way in a piece authored by the institute’s Senior Editorial Advisor William McKenzie is the controversial former head of the former Disinformation Governance Board, Nina Jankowicz. McKenzie organized his thoughts about “disinformation” and “misinformation” in a year of elections into five points, and says that these concepts and ideas originate from news, webinars, and interviews. Given the dramatic importance it is being assigned to (mostly as justification for imposing free speech restrictions), you’d think misinformation is a new phenomenon. And, the incessant parroting that “4 billion people” in dozens and dozens of countries will go to the polling stations this year makes it seem that even the holding of elections is a new and curious phenomenon, or at least, that they hardly ever before coincided in different countries. Brookings Institution’s Darrell M. West is quoted in the post, promoting that narrative by warning of “a perfect storm of disinformation” because many elections will be held around the world. Another “deep disinformation thinker” and no doubt, “expert,” is cited by McKenzie – it’s Nina Jankowicz. Despite the disastrous attempt to make her the face of the rapidly disbanded Disinformation Governance Board, Jankowicz is still held in high esteem among mostly…George W. Bush Institute Senior Advisor Urges Legacy Media Outlets to “Pre-Bunk” “Disinformation”