Who is she?
…And what was she doing in the office of Twitter's CEO?
As is typical for me, I was skimming a dataset, and something unusual jumped out at me.
In today’s case, I won’t bore you with too many investigative details, since I’m not sure they really matter at this juncture.
Today’s dataset is the #oneTeam Tweeps Talent Database, a helpful cloud-hosted spreadsheet of folks who are laid off or expecting to be laid off from Twitter and are actively looking for work.
As I reviewed the list, parsing the myriad talents and engineering backgrounds, one row in particular seemed unusual.
Strangely, this person’s LinkedIn page appears to be scrubbed of mention of their employment at Twitter, if she did work there, instead showing her most recent role from Aug-Dec 2022 as “Associate, Office of the CEO & Founder” at Better, a financial firm focusing on real estate.
While Better is indeed headquartered on the 59th floor of 3 World Trade Center and has other satellite offices in the building on other floors, Twitter has no office at this address. Since last December, when they laid off nearly a thousand employees over a Zoom call, Better has continued to deploy a series of layoffs using a methodology described by TechCrunch as “callous”.
When I emailed Better to confirm her employment, the H.R. department told me her dates of employment were 8/2/22–12/5/22.
I took a look at her recent degree.
It appears she obtained a Master of Science in Business Intelligence and Analytics from a program based in New Jersey which is delivered both online and in person, and she did it during a time when she was also working as a Data Analyst at a Chinese A.I. and Big Data firm, Transwarp.
So we can probably assume she completed her American degree remotely from her home in China.
We could verify her degree and attendance record with the National Student Clearinghouse; this would cost about $20.
Also, notably, she has a Bachelor’s in International Trade and Economics, which she graduated with in June 2020.
Of the seven distinct professional certifications on her resume, all with links, only one is both verifiable and has a usable link. The others are generic or require logins, and are not verifiable with the information provided.
This doesn’t say anything in and of itself — folks often avoid putting too much detail on their public profiles.
But I do find it odd a “data analyst” would post generic links.
So what was Ms. Wang doing there, as an Associate in the Office of the CEO?
Perhaps we can infer from a previous role in China, which she was apparently performing having only had the benefit of an education in International Trade and Economics from Jianxi University (very impressive!):
[…] data mining, data integration, data pre-cleansing and data processing
Design highway driver-vehicle recognition model to […] help […] Transportation Government […] identify certain driver of each car
Design drunk driver identification model
Develop subway passengers’ identification model
Combine all daily tracks data of Chinese Mobile user in Zhe Jiang province
We also learn that in her most recent academic role as a Research Assistant, she:
Developed research in analyzing effects of chatbots’ emotional expression on people’s response, designed the customized bot, collected, and processed conversation and survey data with 200 respondents;
Leveraged machine learning tools such as Amazon AWS analysis on emotion measurement team discussions to analyze people’s facial expressions to measure psychological process and the effect of bot
To summarize, from her LinkedIn profile, we can infer Ms. Wang’s skills are, in no particular order: Accounting, financial audits & reporting, economics, development of advanced financial models, data science with R and Python, machine learning and A.I., Chinese government surveillance, data collection and analysis, specific identification of people and vehicles from surveillance data, advertising, measuring the emotions of people engaging with A.I. chatbots using their facial expressions… All very cool stuff!
But is Ms. Ruixi Wang even a REAL human being?
I’m not sure if she is, because her profile photo was apparently generated by a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) — Artificial Intelligence.
I used a technical method (you can try this detector) to detect GAN-generated images to confirm my suspicions, and indeed! The photo on that LinkedIn account doesn’t seem to pertain to a real person.
How does one secure a spot on the #oneTeam Tweeps Talent Database, anyway?
Well, the former Tweep running it says he’ll verify you.
One must prove their status as a current or former Twitter employee by responding to several questions using the right shibboleths:
Furthermore, the list’s owners advise plainly:
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“If you are not a Tweep, you will be reported to the LinkedIn admins :-)”
This demonstrates awareness of the ongoing reality that hostile intelligence services and other bad actors often seek to impersonate Twitter employees.
So what was she doing at Twitter, in the Office of the CEO, cloistered away from further oversight by other teams?
Was she ever even a Twitter employee, or simply found a way to add herself to this list and join the swarm? Did the hiring managers (at Better or Twitter) verify her? Did she show up to meetings?
If so, what face did she use?
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