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BS Bots and Blue Checks

There has been a lot to talk about in tech lately. In this episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes back one of our favorite tech-watchers, Arnold Kling, to talk about these latest developments- including Elon Musk’s acquisition of twitter, the implosion of FTX and the scandal-plagued Sam Bankman-Fried, and the release of Chat GPT.

We know you’ve been watching all these trends, too, and as always, we want to hear from you. So bring it on! Whether it’s what your ChatGPT prompts brought back, your experience with the now (in)famous blue check (or lock!) on your twitter profile, or your thoughts on any of my prompts below. Let’s keep the conversation going!



1- Since Musk’s acquisition of twitter, do you see a more or less hands-off approach, particularly to content moderation? What are the two types of errors Kling sees facing comment/content moderators? What might you suggest to mitigate these two types of errors? (Or are Comments sections a lost cause???) More importantly, do you agree with Kling that the “culture of free speech” is in decline? Explain.


2- Why can’t Internet firms (social media platforms in particular) operate on a marginal cost pricing model? Kling thinks advertising is not the best source of revenue for such firms. How might price discrimination be effectively employed? What other revenue sources can you think of (and how do you think they might be received by platform users)?


3- Kling says he has never been a crypto optimist, while admitting that there are good use cases. What might some of those use cases be? How about you? Are you a crypto optimist? Why or why not?


4- Roberts reminds Kling that early on, Kling compared SBF to Jeff Bezos. What does Kling say he got right and wrong about each? How does these two cases illustrate the role of venture capital versus (intra) corporate innovation?


5- So far, Kling sees ChatGPT as “a great BS artist.” What do you see as its potential advantages and disadvantages? Again, are you optimistic or pessimistic about it going forward? And how worries are you about the problem of deception creating an “arms race” between bots and humans that Kling fears?


Rayna Prime

Rayna Prime

Rayna Prime Editor