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CNN10 2022-09-15

CNN 10

Rising Prices In The U.S.; How Many Fake Accounts Exist On Twitter. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired September 15, 2022 - 04:00 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Happy Friday eve, everyone. I'm Coy, aka bald dude, aka handsome Squidward. I'm thankful to be hanging with you this week right here on CNN 10.

Today, we have an awesome show for you, so let's go.

Now, we've talked a lot this year about inflation when prices go up and your money doesn't go as far. It's been a constant concern for families, consumers and investors. And in the U.S., it's been growing.

A new report this week shows it's up 8.3 percent from a year ago and it's at a nearly four decade high overall. This news has worried financial markets and analysts are concerned it could mean the start of a recession though some economists have argued we're already in a recession right now.

On Tuesday, stock markets recorded their largest daily loss in two years in reaction to this inflation report. Up until now, consumers have mostly powered through and haven't been spending less. New data is showing that many families are starting to spend less on things like electronics and furniture as the price of basic essentials like food get more expensive.

Still, the current job market continues to show signs of being strong, but economists fear that the only way for the Federal Reserve to slow inflation is to continue to raise interest rates so high that unemployment increases and potentially cause an official recession.

This new inflation report is bad news for President Biden who said that the economy was on its way to recovery. The report instead showed that the U.S.

economy has a long way to go before inflation is under control. For now, workers have lost buying power with inflation moving more quickly than wage increases. And the price of basic necessities is becoming unattainable for many families.


RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These inflation numbers seem to catch everybody off-guard. Most economists were expecting price rises to cool in August. Instead, headline inflation actually rose by 0.1 percent compared to the previous month, and that's despite the fact that a key driver for inflation, the price of gas actually fell.

So that means that price rises have spread beyond energy and into other areas of the economy. The cost of shelter, medical care and food all rising sharply.

Investors shock was reflected on Wall Street with the deepest losses for stocks since the darkest days of the pandemic in June 2020. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 1,200 points. Tech stocks took the biggest hit, the likes of Apple, Facebook parent Meta and chipmaker Nvidia all seeing huge losses.

Judging by the reaction on Wall Street Tuesday, it seems investors are betting that a so-called soft landing is becoming less and less likely.

Rahel Solomon, CNN, New York.


WIRE: Next, some news out in northern California where firefighters are battling a major wildfire they're calling the Mosquito Fire. It's the largest wildfire currently burning in California. It began west of Lake Tahoe on September 6 near Mosquito Ridge Road. It's where it's got its name from.

Now it came after weeks of extreme heat. So far, the fire has consumed over 50,000 acres and is spreading into the Sierra Nevada mountains and it was only percent contained on Wednesday. More than 11,000 people have been forced to flee. It's burned structures overall and at least 25 homes.

And the fire is a triple threat. The blaze is now headed toward a dry forest area amid a water shortage and in a drought-ravaged area making the homes and land fuel for the fire. But the Mosquito Fire is just one of many fires burning across the country. There are large active fires across the western part of the U.S. right now. More than 800,000 acres have already burned this fire season and local fire teams are using everything they can to contain the blazes.


REPORTER: The Mosquito Fire reared its head Tuesday, but fire crews came out swinging.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tanker drops that have been flying over at treetop level.

REPORTER: Tankers whisking above the tree line, dumping retardant by the thousands of gallons to meet the advancing flames.

Helicopters disappearing into choking smoke plumes to drop water. Ground crews ready to stop their foe with lines built by hand tools, sweat and strength.

Massive machinery deployed in the form of dozers, carving wide lines in the earth. And a firing operation initiated by those boots on the ground creating a human-made line of fire, with the goal of stopping the fire in this stubborn dry terrain.



WIRE: All right. Animal lovers, here's your totally random fact of the day. Did you know in Switzerland, it's illegal to own just one guinea pig?

That's right. Under article 13 of Switzerland's animal protection ordinance, guinea pigs are considered to be social creatures and must be given adequate social contact with animals of the same species. Hashtag squad goals.

So next time you're at your pet store, remember, no lonely guinea pigs. Now, that's random.


WIRE: Next, details about Elon Musk's potential purchase of Twitter which he agreed to buy for $44 billion back in April. Within a couple weeks, though, Musk was like hold up, and he tried to back away from the deal, accusing Twitter of having too many bots and lying about the number of fake accounts on the platform.

Let's hear more details from Claire Duffy, a CNN business writer covering the business of big tech. She'll also dive into a new tool from Twitter that helps the platform determine what's a bot and what's not.


CLAIRE DUFFY, WRITER, CNN BUSINESS: In April, Elon Musk agreed to buy Twitter for $44 billion. But within a couple of weeks, he started to get cold feet. He accused Twitter of having too many bots and of lying about the number of bots on its platform. One of the tools that both experts and Elon Musk have used to better understand the prevalence of bots on Twitter's platform is called bottom meter.

To test out how it works, we can look at my Twitter account and see how it rates me.

The bottom meter score is from zero to five. The zero being most likely to be a human account and five being most likely to be a bot account. As you can see, the tool rated my account is 0.5 out of 5. So most likely to be a human.

Another cool thing about this tool is if you go into this details section, you can see tweets by time of day and day of the week. Now, with a bot account, you might see that the account is tweeting all through the night because it's managed by software and it doesn't need a human to get up and tweet late at night.

You might also see that they send the same number of tweets every single day of the week which a human just typically wouldn't do.

It's important to know that the tool doesn't actually prove whether an account is a bot or not. What it does is it looks at the behavior of an account and decides whether it looks more like a human account or something that's automated something that's managed by software.

SAM WOOLLEY, CO-AUTHOR OF "BOTS": We won't know how many bots there are on Twitter. I don't know if we'll ever know how many bots there are on Twitter because bots exist on sort of a gradient. There's human at one -- on one side of bot, and another side, but many, many accounts on Twitter are run by some combination of humans and bots.

DUFFY: There are also some good bot accounts, automated accounts that help spread news or information about events in the world. We can take a look at this account Earthquake Bot, which tweets about earthquakes that are happening all around the world to warn people when they've happened. Bottom meter rates this account as a 4.1 out of 5, most likely to be run by automated software. And the account does say in its description that it's a bot. It's run by a computer.

Twitter does allow these good bots. It even has a label where they can transparently identify themselves to viewers who might not otherwise know that they were run by a computer.

Now, of course, there are the bad bots that you've probably seen if you're on Twitter. The bots that might be trying to get you to buy cryptocurrency or that might be impersonating another real human account.

Elon Musk for one would say that these bots can detract from the user experience and could take away from the long-term value of Twitter.

WOOLLEY: Everyone's known that bots have existed on Twitter since its inception. It's been incredibly well reported.

One of the things that I'm a little bit skeptical of here is the idea that you would know that bots exist on Twitter and that they're just part of the ecosystem and they're part and parcel to the platform in many ways.

DUFFY: Twitter, of course, is it does a lot to detect and remove those bad bot accounts. The company says that it uses both human and automated systems to review accounts and that it removes about a million bot accounts every day.

WOOLLEY: This is a huge, huge task, and it's really challenging in particular because it has to be scaled through AI or machine learning. You basically can't have humans go through 300 million accounts, right?

And so AI and machine learning are not perfect tools. They will have a lot of false positives and false negatives. They will say this account is a bot when it's not and vice versa.


WIRE: We can't wait to hear what you think about the 10 out of 10 we found for today.

The first ever four-door Ferrari. This model was just revealed by the Italian carmaker. It's called the Purosangue. The new car is their first full-size seated ride, so you can bring your whole crew if you wanted to. With over 700 horsepower, it's set to be the fastest SUV in the world, going zero to 60 in 3.3 seconds, and hitting top speeds of more than 190 miles per hour.

But before you rush to the local Ferrari dealer, warning, it ain't cheap. Four hundred thousand dollars.

All right. Now to my favorite part of the day, we want to give a friendly shout out to Saint Jude Apostle Catholic School in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

We see you and we hope you and everyone watching around the world have a wonderful one.

I'm Coy. Thanks for watching CNN 10.