Further Doubts on Google Knowledge Panels, and Big Data Verification Aggregation Technologies

There are a couple of things I want to say. Having gotten over the sadness of Google Knowledge Panel changing every whichaway, I’ve thought of a few things.

Do you want this? That should be the question, every time that you try to get ‘Verified’ anywhere. Because, as a few people have shown, but esp. this person, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Personally, anything that makes my Internets experience a little bit stranger is a good thing, and I want weird fucking messages on Instagram. So this would work out just fine for me. But you?

Ask yourself that. Do you want this?

Nothing gets you nothing

First and foremost: Being Verified one place doesn’t get you Verified anywhere else. I used to wonder if, if I got verified at one place, would it act as a way to get your shoe in the door, so to speak, for other places?

No. Because, I just watched a famous director get denied Verification on Twitter. While a YouTuber with 311 subs (no offense), got Verified on Twitter. Interesting, somebody with almost 2 million YouTube subs got denied. What?

It doesn’t matter who you are. This process is lopsided, uneven, and, quite frankly, seems to be staffed by people who either have too much work, don’t know what to do, or verify based on criteria that aren’t publicly-accessible.

The first aforementioned person, whose Twitter account I will not share (because, what if they’re not her?), is the director of Real Genius. She’s got an IMDb (pro!) page as long as my leg. (My arms aren’t very long.)

Interestingly, on her official website on her IMDb pro page, she links to a Twitter account that’s suspended.

Curious. But, still. What I say stands. Nobody on Twitter who really deserves it (journalists, authors, eSports people who can actually show proof that they’re in a hard-to-get-into eSports ‘league’ or whatever), is actually getting Verified. And, it doesn’t matter if you’re Verified on Google— Google Verification means nothing to Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram (especially).

There are a few exceptions to this, but nothing really is a golden ticket to getting Verified on all platforms. I’ve seen people who are Verified on Facebook and Instagram (two of the 3 hardest, the third being Twitter), not being able to get Verified on Twitter. In general, nobody on any of the Verification teams seems to give a shit, and why should they? It’s a meaningless metric. It’s a Sneetchmark.

Amazon Verification doesn’t mean anything to any of the other places you can get Verified.
Google Verification is barely Verification. Most people don’t even know it exists.

The only ones that really matter are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter— and a Facebook Checkmark doesn’t get you an Instagram Checkmark, nor vice-versa. And Instagram and Facebook checkmarks mean nothing to Twitter.

The entire process is bizarre. But there are a couple of exceptions, like I said:

  • Google seems to prefer that it links to Verified accounts in its Googoo Knowledge Panel. (This is not always true. Look up the panel for Brad Pitt. It’s been linking to a fan account for Brad Pitt, on Twitter, for at least 6 months, and nothing I send in seems to be able to change it. Hilariously, sometimes, if a Twitter account is listed on a Googoo Knowledge Panel, THIS ALLOWS THE TWITTER ACCOUNT TO LOG IN AND CLAIM THE PANEL. And yet Google won’t change it. Bizarre!)
  • Facebook and Instagram checkmarks aren’t interchangeable, meaning that, just becuase you have one, doesn’t mean you can get the other; but, if you have an Instagram checkmark, getting a Facebook one should be like falling off a log, because the Instagram one is fucking impsosible to get. (You literally just give them a copy of your driver’s license. How the Hell does that work for people with stage names??)

It’s all the same, though.

When you run an entity as big as Google, or Twitter, or Facebook, or Instagram, or anything like that noise, the end result is, you either delegate tasks to people who are not trained well enough to handle said tasks, or you automate them. The minute you automate tasks, you’re relying on a computer to do things that might require a human being’s capacity to reason, and come up with new criteria on the fly. Computers can do this, but human beings are currently better-equipped than human-made computers, to figure out things like categorization. (A good example of this is how you can ‘trick’ human A.I. dealing with photograph subject categorization, itno thinking something like, a loaf of bread is a rabbit or a cat. They can fulfill the same general shape, but this is not the sort of categorization that is as readily-made by humans, as it will be made by AI.)

That being said, because of the inherent difficulties in preventing miscategorizations, data that probably shouldn’t be entered into big data estimations / matrices, is entered into these structures. So, instead of dealing with data that’s either true or false, you have data that’s within some sort of range. The trick is figuring out what the computer’s categorization software (‘the algorithm’) considers to be an acceptable range.

To put it simply, Google Knowledge Panels, and even Verification, operate by accepting certain user-generated values. Wait, shit. That’s not simple at all.

Okay. Let’s try again:

The computer is looking for something. It’s looking for something, and if you can guess what it is, within a given acceptable range of values, and you can let it ‘find’ the right numbers, then the computer will enter these in, and you’ll get what you want.

That’s not to say that you should enter erroneous or fallacious data. I would not recommend that. I’m saying, every algorithm is looking for something, within an acceptable range. If you find this acceptable range, and the data you enter falls within the acceptable range for input, then the data should always be accepted. That’s why the slug “[name] is a(n) [occupation]” always works to (eventually) generate a Google Knowledge Panel.

To put it a different way, you have to find what ‘keys’ the algorithm’s ‘ear’.

Once you do that, you’re home free.

For human-run Verification setups, the ‘acceptable range’ is different. Figuring out the ‘acceptable range’ of values is called ‘social engineering’. I don’t recommend that you do that, but, I’m just telling you what it is.

For Amazon, getting Verified was easy: it’s run by a computer, and they wanted a specific, numerical set of data. They required me to breach a certain threshold for engagement numbers (I’m assuming, as they declined to verify me on an account that had a greater number of followers, but a lot less engagement); once I did, they just let me in. (The barrier there is greater than 300,000 views a month on your tweets, I think. Can’t tell what the lower range is, as it would probably be illegal to try to get Verified, again.)

For Pornhub, they require a selfie or two, followed by scanning-in of identification (usually, I’d think, a driver’s license). This is fairly interesting because, with the rate that ‘deep fake’ technology is progressing, there’s no way in Hell that somebody isn’t going to train a model to replicate both of those things, even put together. Probably that’s a felony, as it would probably be fraud to even present a fake driver’s license like that; I’m not saying that you should do it. I’m saying that somebody is going to do it, and there’s fuck-all defense against it, currently in place. On Twitter, already, they added a line about a year or two ago, telling people that they’re not allowed to use A.I.-generated photographs as their avatars. How the fuck are they gonna know, one day?

It’s sad, too, because I managed to generate an A.I. face of a beautiful woman, and I can’t even use that picture for anything, now. (I don’t get it. Authors have used fake pictures before, esp. under pseudonyms, EVEN PRINTED IN BOOKS, UNDER THEIR BIOGRAPHIES. Sigh.)

She’s REALLY pretty, toot.

For Google, it’s the same song-and-dance, only worse: somehow, someway, people have managed to falsely claim other people’s Googoo Knowledge Panels. (Gogo Knowledge Panel) How they did that, I can’t even guess, but you fucking need to take a selfie with your driver’s license, so holy shit, dude. That’s balls.

Socialblade’s barely Verification. It’s just tying your account in there, somehow, that’s really creepy.

For Twitter, the ‘acceptable value range’ used to be, how much shit have you stirred? Shit-stirrers, usually bad ones, always got the Checkmark.

For Facebook, it seems that it’s just a hard value check of engagement: you bring enough people to the platform, they reward you with it.

For Instagram, who the fuck even knows. I think somebody just roves around, and goes, ‘oh, let’s Verify this person’, and that’s how it works.

I’m tired.