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Bot row - which university should do the study on the TWTD forum?
at 19:47 26 May 2020

From the live feed on the BBC website:

A row has broken out over the definition of social media bots after Twitter rejected a study that suggested nearly half of the accounts tweeting about coronavirus since January are bots.

Twitter's head of site security, Yoel Roth, says the company has seen “no evidence to support the claim”.

It comes after a study by Carnegie Mellon University found 45% of 200m tweets about the pandemic were sent by accounts "that behave more like computerised robots than humans".

The term bot is often ill-defined "and doesn't necessarily refer to co-ordinated, manipulative, or inauthentic behaviour", Mr Roth said.

Spam or troll accounts can sometimes be mistaken for bots. Real people can also engage in excessive posting if they are passionate about an issue.

Only social media companies have the necessary data to detect automated accounts.

BBC Bitesize has a guide about bots and the fake news they can spread.

From: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-52803180
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People who like battenberg cake are the most wonderful people in the World
at 16:01 24 May 2020

People who like battenberg cake are the most wonderful people in the World


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Anyone go to the Gaumont on 1st April, 1967?
at 15:36 24 May 2020

I remember the poster but, being eleven years old at the time, I didn't make it down there.

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Did we miss this, reasonably prolific, player out of the 'forgotten them' thread
at 15:36 20 May 2020

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Youds
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Anyone flown EasyJet in the last few years?
at 13:18 19 May 2020

Prepare yourself for a shedload of dodgy emails:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-52722626
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Face masks? Along the lines of Pascal's wager
at 11:17 16 May 2020

Face masks? Along the lines of Pascal's wager


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Did anyone, Lagos especially, watch The Barber Shop Chronicles last night?
at 16:10 15 May 2020

I thought the latest from the National Theatre Live was one of the best, if not the best, yet.
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Spoiler Alert: Race Across The World Series Two v Series One v Pilgimage
at 08:58 14 May 2020

Annoyed with myself for enjoying ‘Race Across The World’ because it is almost the opposite of what I regard as the best way to travel, dashing around like blue arsed flies and ignoring so much of the life around you as you go. So I did think the three part ‘Pilgrimage’ that was on earlier this year was better, despite it featuring a bunch of celebrities, because it demonstrated the beauty of taking your time and talking in depth to those around you and the people you meet on the way.

However, the breathless excitement of ‘Race Across The World’ was infectious; how much of that was due to careful editing, hyped up voiceover and the selection of participants?

OK, now the real SPOILER ALERT stuff. I got to dislike Josh and Felix in the first series and was smugly satisfied when they finished last (although the kind gesture by Shameena and Natalie that allowed them to actually finish was very graciously accepted) so I was expecting Emon and Jamiul to be the Josh and Felix of the second series. The two Mancs won me over though, especially in the kindness they showed to the street kids in São Paulo. Giving half the prize money to charities for the homeless was a wonderful thing too. So my ‘couple I don’t want to win’ hope fell to Dom and Lizzie, I shouldn’t have felt like that though and I worry that these programmes bring out our worse sides.

Jen and Rob were an odd couple and you have to wonder if their marriage will last, because I know from my own relationships that being with someone who is hard of hearing is difficult for the other person. And Rob’s challenges are a lot more profound than mine, once or twice you caught a glimpse of the fixing in his skull for the bone-anchored hearing aid which is such a heavy duty piece of kit compared to conventional hearing aids. Full marks to him for carrying on travelling with that handicap and it did seem that he was doing much better than ‘old bat before her time’ Jen - that’s unfair , I know. She showed quite a few touches of compassion and understanding towards him despite her seemingly self centred outlook.

Finally, Jo and Sam...I reckon if Jo had been competing solo she would have breezed it, finished a few days ahead of everyone else and done a bundle of adventure on the way. Does that make Sam the josh or Felix? When Sam stopped complaining about heat, bus travel and not being able to get Cheetos he engaged so well and appeared to be getting the most benefit from the experiment. Final thought - Jo spoke Spanish and that made the travelling easier and her interaction more comfortable than any other contestant, learn the language of the place you intend to visit when we all start travelling again please.
[Post edited 14 May 9:41]
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Soap 3 Hand sanitiser 0
at 07:58 10 May 2020

Interesting podcast, from last year before it all kicked off:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p070qyks
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RIP Denis Goldberg
at 21:27 8 May 2020

Brave man

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denis_Goldberg
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Locusts, just to make a change from Covid-19 threads...
at 08:24 6 May 2020

Interesting piece on the BBC website that seems to be given a higher profile after being in the background all week:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/resources/idt-84994842-8967-4dfd-9490-10f805de9f68

Not at all cheerful but perhaps now is a good time to think about how adverse natural phenomena spread and how humans respond.
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