I'm here just wondering how much of the bot traffic is actually paid for *by* Twitter to juice their advertising numbers.
Feels like a *very* Elon thing tbh
"The majority of traffic from Elon Musk's X may have been fake during the Super Bowl" https://t.co/QnWrgHRybL
— dave, aspiring peasant ???? (@aspiringpeasant) February 16, 2024
… 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.
“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 monitors bots and fake users across the internet in order to minimize online ad fraud for its clients. Tytunovich’s company accomplishes this by tracking how visitors from different sources, such as X, interact with a client’s page after they click one of their links. The company can also tell when a bot is passing itself off as a real user, such as when a fraudulent user is faking what type of operating system they are using to view a website.
Most X users who are regularly on the platform can attest to a noticeable uptick in seemingly inauthentic activity in recent months. When a post goes viral on X, its now commonplace to find bots filling the replies with AI-generated responses or accounts with randomly generated usernames spamming a user’s mentions with unsolicited “link-in-bio” promotions. Now, there’s data which backs up that user experience.
Advertisers have also noticed X’s bot issues. In a recently published piece in The Guardian, Gene Marks, a small business owner shared his ad campaign results from X. After a small $50 advertising spend, X’s analytics shows that his website had received 350 clicks from approximately 29,000 views. However, according to Google Analytics, X wasn’t the source of any of the actual traffic his website had received during that time period…
When X’s Super Bowl traffic is compared to other social media platforms during the same time period, the bot issue on Musk’s platform appears even more stark. CHEQ also provided data to Mashable pertaining to Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. In terms of fake traffic, no other platform came close to X’s nearly 76 percent.
Out of more than 40 million visits from TikTok, only 2.56 percent were determined to be fake. Facebook sent 8.1 million visits and 2.01 percent of the monitored visits were classified as inauthentic. And over on Instagram, only 0.73 percent of the 68,700 visits from the platform were fake…
CHEQ also provided Mashable with fake traffic data from the entire month of January 2024. TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram all had very similar stats to each platform’s respective Super Bowl weekend numbers. Slightly more than 2.8 percent of the 306 million visits sent from TikTok were determined to be fake. Out of the 90 million visits that came from Facebook, a bit more than 2 percent were fake. And Instagram’s traffic was only 0.96 percent fake, based on 749,000 visits.
But, X once again fared the worst. Of the 759,000 visits from X, 31.82 percent of that traffic was determined to be fake…
… X’s problems clearly go well beyond the type of content being posted by real human beings. Advertisers typically pay social media companies based on impressions and/or clicks on their advertisements. And based on this traffic data, advertisers could potentially be paying Musk and company for visits from an audience consisting mostly of bots.
From my own extreeemely limited & recent experience curating followers, a fake rate (mostly ‘nudes in bio’, with a smattering of bitcoin scams) of 30-35% seems correct.