AI Will Break Online Search

AI is going to give super powers to Blackhat SEO, breaking online search as we know it. RIP magic box at the top of the browser where we all reflexively type “how to [blank]”, “[blank] near me”, “best [blank] Reddit”, and anything else we seek a semi-reliable answer to at any given moment. Online search results are about to get flooded with Astroturf and spam content at a level never before possible. People have discussed Google Search results going down hill for years. A lot of factors influence why Google search lost some of its magic, I’ve written thousands of words on the topic. Experts have universal consensus of two factors for search quality decline, the volume of things on the internet (quantity) and the lower average caliber of all those things (quality). Not the only factors, but everyone from former Google execs to an ad agency demon like myself agree those have major impact on Google’s search product. If this was only a deluge of content from real human people posting on Twitter, TiKToK and poorly edited blogs the companies in the business of sorting an parsing could handle it. The problem is attempted manipulation of ranking within those companies indexes of the web. AI is about to scale those blackhat systems. AI Will Clog The Internet’s Toilets “Typeface, a startup developing an AI-powered dashboard for drafting marketing copy and images, emerged from stealth this week with $65 million in venture equity backing”, so begins the TechCrunch article about…AI Will Break Online Search

How Forbes Monetizes The Frauds They Create

Sam Bankman-Fried, Elizabeth Holmes, and Charlie Javice share a few things in common. They all seem to have committed fraud; though a court of law convicted only Homes at the time of writing. The three are also Forbes ’30 Under 30′ Alumni. Forbes is the best in the business at monetizing frauds on the way up and later on the way down. Javice was the CEO of a startup called Frank that JPMorgan Chase acquired in large part because of the over 4 million users the company boasted. The best coverage of JPMorgan Chase’s lawsuit claiming Frank only had 300,000 real users and created 4.265 million fake customer records to satisfy due diligence is in Forbes. Holmes was found guilty on four of 11 fraud charges as the founder of the fake blood-testing startup Theranos. She received an 11-year prison sentence. Forbes has published many articles covering the trial, the sentencing, and the analysis of what went wrong. Just as they once happily propped Holmes up as some business and technical thought leader. Bankman-Fried, once propped up by fawning media coverage in Forbes, now graces the pages with words about his probable fraud with FTX and Alameda Research. These paragraphs are becoming monotonous. Forbes made money with articles, building up these fraudsters without critical analysis. The media juggernaut now makes money writing about the frauds, which were at least partly made possible by the endowment of trust from Forbes. In an article I wrote in 2020 about fake gurus, I talked about Sam Ovens, a man who…How Forbes Monetizes The Frauds They Create

TikTok, Drugs, Congress, and Monopoly

So ketamine is a dangerous drug. Alright, but what about alcohol? So TikTok is a national security threat. Alright, what about Meta? The declaration that one thing is unreconcilably bad and the other good or at least substantially less bad is based on little to no data. In the congressional hearings about TikTok, most complaints from the U.S. ruling class apply to all social media platforms. The main complaints also apply to all major internet companies monetized from collecting consumer data. The claims of TikTok being a national security threat are much the same arbitrary arguments as what drugs are made illegal. Ketamine, is an order of magnitude less harmful than alcohol. If you want to argue that fact, first check with any emergency medicine doctor or read the analyses of the Drug harms in the U.K paper, but I digress. My claim for TikTok is that it’s pretty much the same U.S. national security risk as Facebook and Google. That TikTok is a Chinese company may pose some security risks to U.S. interests not posed by other popular apps. Shoshana Wodinsky created a list of all the unique crimes the company was accused of committing during the, to use a line from Reason Magazine, masturbatory display of political theater. Very few accusations are unique to TikTok. But, to the extent that members of congress know about data brokers, I assume they feel the U.S. data brokers’ selling lists of all the closeted gay people, with cancer, taking anti depressants in Kentucky…TikTok, Drugs, Congress, and Monopoly

Stephen King’s Happiness Is A Twitter Success Metric

As a writer, Stephen King is famous, prolific, and respected. He’s published over 70 novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. ‘Salem’s Lot is casually referenced in verse by Eminem. Neil Gaiman said he read King’s On Writing and began removing adverbs from a draft of American Gods. Famously slow writer George R. R. Martin once jokingly asked King how he wrote books so fast. Fast or otherwise, King doesn’t need to write anymore. Conservatively King’s net worth means he could never work another moment of his life, and he’s already enshrined as a legend. Harper Lee is universally considered a great American novelist. Most can name her entire two book bibliography in one breath. Certainly, few joke that they require reminders films they love are based on her work. At this point, King writes because he wants to write. He has a book coming out in September of 2023. And for over nine years, he’s used Twitter frequently, if not daily. In other words, Stephen King, a wealthy, household-name author, has written for free on Twitter for nearly a decade. Twitter Needs A Creator Class Twitter is not a traditional publisher. But bird website shares a business model similar to that of all ads supported publishers. A circle that requires creators, advertisers, and consumers. If content isn’t attracting consumers reach drops. If reach drops advertisers leave. If advertisers go away, the publication dies. All for the want of a horseshoe nail. For better or likely for worse that’s the grim reality…Stephen King’s Happiness Is A Twitter Success Metric

A Blue Check On A Pike Warns Us Not To Give Up The Web

The internet, once a hand full of websites, grew rapidly. In July 2008, Google announced it had an index of 1 trillion URLs. Nearly 15 years later, the internet is larger but, in some ways, still a handful of websites. I frequently lament Meta and Alphabet swallowing the web. In a post about TikTok, an app with over 1 billion monthly active users, itself representing a large site that makes the internet feel small, I complained forums and directories are gone. A kind of gentrification for the web where the cool message board is now on Facebook and independent blogs are concentrated on a few platforms owned by companies that can act out in petty ways. In most revenue share models, a large platform, Medium, Twitch, YouTube, and so forth, collect payments from ads or subscriptions and split profit with creators forming a not-technically-an-employee-but-still-kind-of-anemployee-with-extra-steps relationship. A relationship where someone may not work for [platform], but [platform] can suspend income or even remove that non-employee-etcetera’s work or access to the platform without warning or reason. Platform Control I don’t think social media is a utility that must be regulated and forced to act with neutrality. Except for actual utilities, housing, and certain banking and adjacent technologies, that sort of regulation would be undesirable. I don’t want Daily Kos prohibited by law from removing Alex Jones from the comment section. I also don’t like the world where people work for platforms creating content units with no substantive legal protection. It’s bad when companies can…A Blue Check On A Pike Warns Us Not To Give Up The Web

Twitter Is Blocking Substack Links

This is both petty, and an epic a self shooting of the foot. A vast amount of Twitters most active users are writing on Substack. Giving them less reason to use a Twitter when it is already in a quality decline is so stupid. Twitter is blocking Substack links – here’s how to get around itBy: Roger Feeley-Lussier, April 7, 2023, The post Twitter Is Blocking Substack Links appeared first on Mason Pelt.Twitter Is Blocking Substack Links

AI Is Answering HARO Queries

It’s me, the AI will wreck online search guy, and this story by Julia Pugachevsky for Insider is the boldest and most BS use of AI for marketing I’ve ever seen. The AI responded to a help a reporter out query, faked being a cancer survivor and asked for links from the publication. I interviewed a breast-cancer survivor who wanted me to tell her story. She was actually an AI. By: Julia Pugachevsky, April 5, 2023, The post AI Is Answering HARO Queries appeared first on Mason Pelt.AI Is Answering HARO Queries

NPR Will Stop Tweeting Until Twitter Removes “State-affiliated” Label

NPR, National Public Radio, with it’s incredibly popular podcasts, and well actual radio broadcasts has perhaps the least need of Twitter of any news outlet in the world. And as I’ve said many times Twitter is not a traffic driver. For most media orgs Twitter is under 3% of total traffic. I know Musk disagrees, but he’s wrong. NPR says it won’t tweet from @NPR until Twitter removes false “state-affiliated” labelBy: Sarah Scire, April 7, 2023, Added context A few days ago Twitter added a US state-affiliated media label to NPR’s Twitter account. NPR gets about 1% of funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting via competitive grants. The label is normally used for outlets like Sputnik that are actually controlled by a nations media. Weirdly Stars and Stripes a paper run by United States Department of Defense does not have a US state-affiliated media label. Also per Techdirt NPR was Twitter’s example of what is not to be labeled ‘state-affiliated media” until after Twitter rolled out the change. The post NPR Will Stop Tweeting Until Twitter Removes “State-affiliated” Label appeared first on Mason Pelt.NPR Will Stop Tweeting Until Twitter Removes “State-affiliated” Label

Duluth NAACP Asks Prosecutor To Drop Charges Against A Felon Who Turned In A Gun

In the United States legal system far to much is left to prosecutorial discretion, and this is a mind-numbing example. Please read the full article, here’s the lede. “An officer told Steven Cooper he “did the right thing” by turning in his deceased brother’s handgun. But the convicted felon is now being prosecuted for handling the weapon.“ Duluth NAACP demands dismissal of man’s gun chargeBy: Tom Olsen, April 6, 2023, The post Duluth NAACP Asks Prosecutor To Drop Charges Against A Felon Who Turned In A Gun appeared first on Mason Pelt.Duluth NAACP Asks Prosecutor To Drop Charges Against A Felon Who Turned In A Gun

Don’t Use Social Logins

A lesson from my recent non-announced-suspension from Twitter is not to use social login for anything. Sites that I forgot I registered for via Twitter now require jumping through hoops to access. Some other take aways from my accounts limbo state are explained in the article, A Blue Check On A Pike Warns Us Not To Give Up The Web The post Don’t Use Social Logins appeared first on Mason Pelt.Don’t Use Social Logins