Bots

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commonsense
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Bots

Post by commonsense » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:58 pm

Why should/shouldn’t bots be allowed in this forum?

Is their presence an invasion of privacy or an incentive not to be rude?

What is the value/use/purpose of the data they might be collecting?

Scott Mayers
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Re: Bots

Post by Scott Mayers » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:01 pm

commonsense wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:58 pm
Why should/shouldn’t bots be allowed in this forum?

Is their presence an invasion of privacy or an incentive not to be rude?

What is the value/use/purpose of the data they might be collecting?
I'm guessing you mean to question any place where bots are. (?)

I'm on the "I don't know" side yet have a strong distaste for imposition of privacy where it is used against people by or for any reason. As such I have to also have to question whether any of it is any 'good' also.

I am one of the few who opts to use their real name online but don't think this is necessarily wise for most. I do it more as an experiment in honesty but still do not like to use things like Facebook as I've learned it can potentially harm OTHERS you are associated with as much as to your own choices to be open.

I understand that there is value to bots IF they were used in ways that do not actually identify particular people. However, how can you trust even the data collected by bots if it couldn't be linked to people with accountability? If we can't link the actual data to real people, you cannot trust the data where it is used to suggest statistical truths. This is because the claimed results by bots (which you might include cookies as a part of this) can be simply manufactured frauds. As such it is not true in general that data collection is done with anonymity or without harm.

A good point of this is some thread I discussed here a long while back (& one I can 't find now) about whether forums should 'censor' material. If any place (public or virtual) can permit censor, you cannot hypocritically use that information that others say on these forums against them in some legal sense, say, if some government wants to hold specific people's words or actions against them for what they say online. This is because if the site's moderators CAN censor, they have the power to also edit or manufacture what and how some person's words are relayed. This raises reasonable doubt as to whether the actual people saying the words had 'owned' what they said with certainty.

Bots are more preferable mechanisms than to have real people actually having the direct power to read through your private correspondence. Facebook uses this to read all people's personal data including emails. However, without actually knowing the program's specific functions we are vulnerable to abuse and it is inevitable to occur regardless.

There are good arguments also for the nature of investment by those producing sites like this for free to allow the use of things like bots and cookies. These can help provide at least some minimal compensation for the effort of these 'free' services. Yet, given people are more defaulted to 'accelerate' their power when or where they exploit this, even the best intended 'free' sites/services will tend to be abusive.

I DO think that it may be possible for us to evolve to respect people's flaws better than we used to by the use of this kind of tech that counters people's privacy. For instance, in the past we used to default to assume any person's single actions define who they are permanently. While this is not true, this is how we had to assume others as (rarely ourselves of course) because if we couldn't have some standard of predictability, we'd have more risk of being taken advantage more often than not.

Sorry for the mixture of issues beyond mere bots. But they are all correlated. The question should be more about whether we can even trust the value of information that bots gather other than to the ones who specifically created them. That is, given the lack of certainty being some purchaser of such data sources, how can anyone else trust companies selling the generic information by bots WITHOUT having proof of direct connection to real people? To me the bots would be best to serve our confidence if they had to be open and honest to the specific people's ownership of those bots......and not some mere unidentifiable label, like many cookies are, that indicates who they are. Certainly if they can have a right to impose upon our privacy, they should require being transparent themselves.

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Greta
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Re: Bots

Post by Greta » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:43 pm

Not keen on it. What's to stop one person from having multiple voices via bot members?

FlashDangerpants
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Re: Bots

Post by FlashDangerpants » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:15 am

Greta wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:43 pm
Not keen on it. What's to stop one person from having multiple voices via bot members?
Nothing, but nothing stops them now anyway. That RWStanding guy has just started posting under some new name for some sort of reason that probably makes sense to him. Some dude called WarnerLot signed off his post PhilX for some reason.

I'm not really sure what bots are being discussed here though. Bots can server a useful function, if you look at the BadPhilosophy subreddit for instance, they have one that beats you up if you mention that Jordan Peterson guy, because that's not philosophy. The history sub there pastes a boilerplate reply whenever somebody recommends a specific, popular but not terribly well researched or argued book that always gets mentioned.

I can think of at least one good bot we should write for use here. It needs to to do a pattern match against text strings along the lines of "ad hominem", and then post an automatic reply explaining what that phrase means and when it should be used. This would do tremendous good in the world because that accusation is rarely deployed with any accuracy on this forum.

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-1-
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Re: Bots

Post by -1- » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:58 am

What's a Bot?

Scott Mayers
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Re: Bots

Post by Scott Mayers » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:36 am

-1- wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:58 am
What's a Bot?
Short for "robot", they are programs that scout various sites to mine for data. They are intended to be used to be both automatic, quick, and also, intentionally to remove the component of actual people to read other's personal information when collecting such data. Thus, for a something like Facebook, the Bots will scan all your personal emails to seek for word or word phrases to be used as data that then get used to sell anonymous stats of the data company of those bots or to be used to 'guess' at your likes and interests to target you for advertising.

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-1-
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Re: Bots

Post by -1- » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:18 pm

Scott Mayers wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:36 am
-1- wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:58 am
What's a Bot?
Short for "robot", they are programs that scout various sites to mine for data. They are intended to be used to be both automatic, quick, and also, intentionally to remove the component of actual people to read other's personal information when collecting such data. Thus, for a something like Facebook, the Bots will scan all your personal emails to seek for word or word phrases to be used as data that then get used to sell anonymous stats of the data company of those bots or to be used to 'guess' at your likes and interests to target you for advertising.
Thank, you, Scott, for a remarkably clear and comprehensive answer. I never knew what Bots were.

So a Bot doesn't only scan and collect data, but according to the foregoing posts, it can post as a human, furthermore, if it is given the required permissions, it can alter, edit, or censor others', humans', posts.

Fascinating.

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Re: Bots

Post by -1- » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:21 pm

Incidentally, "bots" (pronounced the same, but spelled properly as "bocs") is pronounced "botch" in my language, and it means "I apologize", which is also appropriate for me to say to you, Scott, for my insults in the other debate, the topic of which I already forgot. I have an extremely short memory -- I often say these days, "I'm a senior now, I am entitled to my dementia." I just turned 65 a few months ago.

Scott Mayers
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Re: Bots

Post by Scott Mayers » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:03 pm

-1- wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:18 pm
Scott Mayers wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:36 am
-1- wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:58 am
What's a Bot?
Short for "robot", they are programs that scout various sites to mine for data. They are intended to be used to be both automatic, quick, and also, intentionally to remove the component of actual people to read other's personal information when collecting such data. Thus, for a something like Facebook, the Bots will scan all your personal emails to seek for word or word phrases to be used as data that then get used to sell anonymous stats of the data company of those bots or to be used to 'guess' at your likes and interests to target you for advertising.
Thank, you, Scott, for a remarkably clear and comprehensive answer. I never knew what Bots were.

So a Bot doesn't only scan and collect data, but according to the foregoing posts, it can post as a human, furthermore, if it is given the required permissions, it can alter, edit, or censor others', humans', posts.

Fascinating.
If given the power by the site, the bots can be used to check for content and act (like censor), but outsider bots, like those from Google, cannot do so without permission, of course. Google uses these to update the searches. So if you look up your own user name here, "-1-", for instance, through Google's bot that visits here, it will tally how often people look at your content. If it is more popular when someone types in "-1-" to Google, than others who might type in "-1-", your topics will be listed on the top of the list when people search. [at least this used to be the case until search optimizer companies figured out how to 'cheat' this and why we don't always find what we want when we use Google. I type in my own name and it tries to correct me by searching for "Scott Meyers" instead. This is because an author whose name is this is popular for his computer language texts. This could possibly be due to the publisher of his books paying for optimizing software that might link both spellings to his name because people might easily misspell his actual name and not find his book.

I checked your label, "-1-", without the quotes and it finds nothing. So this indicates they are not using a bot that links your name personally to your content. But if you wrote a thread that got used lots, the title of the thread might be something the bots use and so might place your thread discussions if someone looked up something with the title of some popular discussion that others here use and/or that others have used Google to find. This is sort of one way you can see they don't tie the person's name in collecting data. Of course this is a public forum and so the data of our threads is not 'private'. However, if it was your email, they may keep that private from even searches but can be used to still associate common links to advertising bots.

Technically these are supposed to be safe but we have to still question this when even governments are now demanding rights to have literal direct access to more information than we welcome them too. And if they are able to get this, then it implies that the bots can also be used to identify your private information to anyone. So the concerns are real. Even when we have the best intentions and clever logic to create these programs for non-intrusive purposes, they can also harm us by those who learn how to further use them for bad purposes.

Since 9/11, that Homeland security of the American government's purpose was to permit a division of government to say, use bots to seek people's private communications to seek for common words that terrorists may use often. They are supposed to also keep the information out of the eyes of actual people UNLESS the bots trigger an alert. But then they require the communication companies to KEEP records of people's names tied to the bots searches just in case the government needs to identify them. While 'good' to some degree, because people run Homeland security, it means they too can act with nefarious reasons unrelated to actual security but to particular political interests. This is where we DO have to question the limits of these bots.

My concern about the FACT that the sites are 'public', if governments are able to hold particular people's words accountable, the sites themselves should not have the power to edit content in any way OR the content itself should not be used by outside governments to be 'trusted' as the fault of those 'guests' of the site. At best, they could hold the site at fault. So the burden of the site to protect the integrity of its guests should be to preserve people's words without edit or censorship OR lose credibility as a 'public' forum.

The debate is mixed because many 'public' forums, like the government forum sites that taxpayers pay for, are moderating their forums on the excuse to prevent hate speech BY people. They might take advantage of 'bots' to do this so that the moderation isn't personal but just a flag. But then even if the bots are used this way to evade human intervention, how can the public trust how the bots are actually being used as moderators without the people being able to have 'proof' that someone did or did not say something that triggered their censor? We cannot hold accountable those people who DO use hate speech, for instance, if we cannot publicly witness the content of said abuse because the people who might be held responsible may have been just falsely quoted as saying something they didn't say by those who hold the power to moderate even if the bots themselves are understood to be unbiased.

Scott Mayers
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Re: Bots

Post by Scott Mayers » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:15 pm

-1- wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:21 pm
Incidentally, "bots" (pronounced the same, but spelled properly as "bocs") is pronounced "botch" in my language, and it means "I apologize", which is also appropriate for me to say to you, Scott, for my insults in the other debate, the topic of which I already forgot. I have an extremely short memory -- I often say these days, "I'm a senior now, I am entitled to my dementia." I just turned 65 a few months ago.
I hold a short memory too and believe this is appropriate. People change their views or have valid arguments distinctly different from other views. I also don't take insult of others as necessarily intentional either. But I am thankful that you said so if only out of respect as it makes it easier for me to also be apologetic too should I say something that might offend you or others as well. So thank you....but I forgot THAT we were arguing about before anyways let alone about what we were arguing. I am at the age that I have to record programs on my DVR to watch them because I need to constantly rewind it to remind me how the show I'm watching begun. :lol:

gaffo
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Re: Bots

Post by gaffo » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:36 pm

commonsense wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:58 pm
Why should/shouldn’t bots be allowed in this forum?

Is their presence an invasion of privacy or an incentive not to be rude?

What is the value/use/purpose of the data they might be collecting?
bots+ Russians

lol?

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-1-
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Re: Bots

Post by -1- » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:27 am

commonsense wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:58 pm
What is the value/use/purpose of the data they might be collecting?
They are collecting names to know whom to line up against the wall and shoot, when the revolution comes.

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A_Seagull
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Re: Bots

Post by A_Seagull » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:44 pm

-1- wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:27 am
commonsense wrote:
Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:58 pm
What is the value/use/purpose of the data they might be collecting?
They are collecting names to know whom to line up against the wall and shoot, when the revolution comes.
Well, with a name like yours... no question .. you would be first in line...

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-1-
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Re: Bots

Post by -1- » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:13 am

A_Seagull wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:44 pm
-1- wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:27 am

They are collecting names to know whom to line up against the wall and shoot, when the revolution comes.
Well, with a name like yours... no question .. you would be first in line...
Hehe...

gaffo
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Re: Bots

Post by gaffo » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:44 am

Hey BTW.

X-Minus (-1) 1 was (is-remains though now 60 yrs old) - a Great Show.

X-minus one, best Radioplay of all time.

"-1" moniker does that show honour, if he knows of it or not!

long live the now long lost and forgotten artform - the Radio Drama, and esp X-minus one, the best Radiodrama of all time!

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