Twitter



[via @cgasparino]

Now he can squeeze it in in between his afternoon workout session and his standing reservation at the Grand Havana room.

Earlier: Charlie Gasparino: Twitter CEO Dan George Dick Costolo “Looks Like The Kind Of Guy You’d Beat The Hell Out Of”

One day earlier this month, Jim Vidmar bought 1,000 fake Twitter accounts for $58 from an online vendor in Pakistan. He then programmed the accounts to “follow” the Twitter account of rapper Dave Murrell, who calls himself Fyrare and pays Mr. Vidmar to boost his standing on the social network. Mr. Vidmar’s fake accounts also rebroadcast Mr. Murrell’s tweets, amplifying his Twitter voice. Mr. Murrell says he sometimes buys Twitter ads to raise his profile, “but you’ll get more with Jim.” He says many Twitter users try to make their followings look bigger than they are. “If you’re not padding your numbers, you’re not doing it right,” he says. “It’s part of the game.” [...] For 10 months in 2012 and 2013, a team of researchers from the University of California Berkeley and George Mason University worked with Twitter’s security department to help identify fake accounts and minimize robot activity. The team bought fake accounts on the black market, identified common characteristics, and developed a filter that would block roughly 95% of such accounts. Twitter’s previous system caught about 8% of fake accounts, the researchers said. They presented the results at an academic conference. In April, Twitter and the researchers applied the filter. Mr. Vidmar says he remembers the day, because most of his fake accounts were deleted, and he couldn’t create new ones. “They cleaned house,” he says. But Mr. Vidmar and others say the underground market quickly adapted. The researchers’ system flagged accounts with incomplete profiles, no pictures, and little activity. In response, Mr. Vidmar says suppliers now fill out more account details, add pictures, and tweet from the accounts before selling them. That drove up the cost of fake accounts. But marketers and researchers say the black market is again thriving. [WSJ]

Back in September, Fox Business asked a Twitter spokesperson if anyone at the company could “chat about IPO rumors.” The response was simply: “…”, which Team FBN took to as a confirmation that plans for an IPO were imminent. It’s unclear exactly what transpired behind the scenes between the business network and social media platform after that, but based on a the six and a half minutes of airtime FBN correspondent Charlie Gasparino and anchor Liz Claman just spent referring to Twitter CEO Dick Costolo as a “nasty,” “slimy,” “scheming nerd,” it seems fair to say their interactions were less than cordial! The clip really has to be seen to be believed but it includes:

* Gasparino: “Companies like Twitter are not altruistic, they’re not charities. They’re nasty, conniving, skeevy individuals who run these companies and they want to lure in as much dumb money as possible.”

* Gasparino: “Dan Costolo.” Claman: “Dick.” Gasparino: “George, I couldn’t care what the hell his name is.” Claman: “Yeah! ‘Cause he’s not talking to Fox Business, ’cause he’s scared!”

* Gasparino: “This guy is a nasty, skeeving, scheming nerd from Silicon Valley. He is! That’s my opinion!”

* Claman: “Somebody over there is hashtag-spineless. Hashtag, maybe it’s their PR department?” Gasparino: “Don’t blame the dumb flacks, you blame the skeevy, nerdy guy that runs the company.”

* Gasparino: “It’s a big circle something between Wall Street and Silicon Valley.”

* Claman: “Fox Business and Twitter came into existence around the same time– 2007– and we were the first business network to profile them and they repay us by refusing to talk to us because Charlie and our company have been very honest about them.”

* Claman: “Twitter is not profitable years after its launch, Fox Business is– are they, hashtag-jealous?”

* Gasparino: “They’re run by these Silicon Valley nerds…doofuses…”

* Gasparino: “Is [Costolo] Italian?” Claman: “Can you believe that?” Gasparino: “That guy is not a paesan, I can tell you that much.”

* Gasparino: “I want to see a picture of Dick Costolo, can we show a picture of him?” [Someone in control room flashes a picture of DC on the screen] Gasparino: “This guy looks like the guy you beat the hell out of…I’m not advocating violence, I’m just saying he looks like—” Read more »

As those of you who’ve followed the career of Charles Gasparino know, before he became a fixture on Fox Business, CG got his start at the Tampa Tribune, followed by Bond World, followed by Bond Buyer (and Newsday, the Journal, and CNBC after that). Since Gasparino remembers his days at BB fondly, as a time of working in the trenches, honing his craft, sporting the mustache and suspenders at left, and hitting the speed bag that hung over his desk in between stories, the rumor he heard earlier today that the publication might be closing struck a chord. With a wave of nostalgia crashing over him, and knowing that the community would look to him for direction in this time of sadness, Gasparino took to Twitter to post a 140 character eulogy, writing:

sad day if true: was told @TheBondBuyer is closing. gave a lot of us our start including @JoeMysak and even once paved the way for reform

Charlie’s reminiscence quickly turned sour, however, when an editor at American Banker (owned by the same company that publishes Bond Buyer) wrote that the publication was not in fact closing, as did a fellow named Richard Melville, who works for Source Media, Bond Buyer‘s parent company, and appears to have started a Twitter account today for the sole purpose of denying Gasparino’s story. And while moment earlier, Charlie was mourning the passing of his old stomping grounds, suddenly the gloves and the top three buttons on the nice black suit he’d worn for the occasion were off:

@richmelville had the ring of being true because the last time u guys broke a story was when I was there in 94

From there, all hell broke loose, as things often tend to do when people dare to question Gasparino’s reporting: Read more »

With Carl Icahn exploring other means of communicating, Twitter will not be profitable until at least 2015. Of course, it will be profitable, especially if you are Goldman Sachs or can get in on the ground floor, one former Twitter user says. Read more »

A future subsidiary of the IntercontinentalExchange is getting pretty confident about not having to pony up $40 million-plus for fucking up a certain highly-anticipated market event. Read more »

Oil traders razor-focused on signs of escalating violence in the Middle East were jolted on Thursday by a Twitter posting from the Israeli military that, at first glance, suggested they had just bombed Syrian airports. Oil prices jumped $1 as the talk raced through oil markets, which frequently react quickly to rumors of geopolitical events and where traders have increasingly turned to the Internet and social media for advance warning of escalating risks, from the Arab Spring to the Iranian nuclear standoff. The Tweet was true, but it wasn’t news. The posting referred to an attack 40 years ago in the Yom Kippur war, the latest in a series of Tweets from the Israel Defense Forces Twitter handle (@IDFSpokesperson) commemorating the war. The Tweet just before 10:30 a.m. EDT stated: “October 10 #YomKippur73: Israel Air Force bombards airports in Syria to prevent Soviet weapons reaching the Syrian Army”. It then links to a website that gives a day-by-day account of the war. “Obviously this was part of our Yom Kippur Twitter series. The facts are there and simple to read. It was apparent within the Tweet itself,” said IDF spokesman Peter Lerner. [Reuters]