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Inside the Real Economy Behind Fake Twitter Followers

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the black-market-cares-what-you-had-for-breakfast dept.

Twitter 75

colinneagle writes "People continue to pay money for Twitter followers, and, naturally, a deep network of developers and merchants has arisen to feed the market. A Barracuda Labs study found that the average dealer has the capacity to control as many as 150,000 followers at a time, sometimes more. Those who can control 20,000 fake accounts and can attract sales of $20 or more — the going rate is 1,000 followers for a minimum of $18 — stand to earn roughly $800 per day, according to Barracuda Labs. Keep in mind that very little of this work is manual; the dealers could easily control a system of botnets and set up a few software tools to automate much of the process. Using Twitter's API, developers can design programs that collect all the information of a given group of Twitter users, such as, for example, the 800,000 users following Mitt Romney's account. These programs don't necessarily hijack these accounts — they copy the images and text from their profiles and tweets. This pool of information can then be automatically ported into accounts based on an algorithm that automates the registration process on a massive scale."

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Dangerous Tuesday from Lee Majors! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988163)

Well, I'm not the kind to kiss and tell, But I've been seen with Farrah.
I've never been with anything less than a nine, so fine.
I've been on fire with Sally Field, gone fast with a girl named Bo.
But somehow they just don't end up as mine...
It's a death-defying life I lead, I'll take my chances.
I've died for a living in the movies and tv.
But the hardest thing I'll ever do is watch my leading ladies,
Kiss some other guy while I'm bandaging my knee.

I might fall from a tall building, I might roll a brand-new car,
'Cause I'm the unknown stuntman that made Redford such a star.

I've never spent much time in school, but I taught ladies plenty.
It's true I hire my body out for pay, hey hey!
I've gotten burned over Cheryl Tiegs, blown up over Rachel Welch
But when I wind up in the hay, it's only hay, hey hey!
I might jump an open drawbridge, or Tarzan from a vine,
'Cause I'm the unknown stuntman, that makes Eastwood look so fine.

They'll never make me president, but I got the best first ladies
Someday's I got'em as far as the eye can see - ouee
A morning dove with Jacky Smith, a crash in the night with Cheryl
But in the end they never stay with me
On my fall from the Tower Building, so Burt Reynolds don't get hurt
I might leap the mighty Canyon, so he can kiss and flirt
Well, that smooth talker's kissing my girl - I'm just kissing dirt
Yes, I'm the lonely stuntman, that made a lover out of Burt

Re:Dangerous Tuesday from Lee Majors! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40989495)

Hate to break it to you but you are the one being partisan. The mention of Romney's followers was in the context that they were in fact real. That they could be used as a pool to get real twitter fodder from to be used when fake accounts tweet.

Too many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988219)

Real Twits out there to worry about fake ones.

Partisan Politics, again.... (-1)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988227)

or you could have said "such as, for example, the 18 million users follow President Obama's account". I doubt there's 18 million people that interested in him.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988265)

Um he's the president of the united states...the population of the USA is three hundred and eleven million people, and I'm sure there are plenty of people outside of the USA who follow him as well. I don't really see Obama buying twitter followers, perhaps when he initially, campaigned for president, but that would just be an assumption at best.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988289)

Yep, no way ~6% of a country could possibly be interested in what the holder of its highest political office has to say.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (0)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988609)

Highest? He's not a king.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988893)

What? If his office isn't highest, then which one is?

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (2)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989159)

CEO Goldman Sachs, Chairman of Soros Fund Management, Chief Executive of ConocoPhillips. Maybe Chief Justice SCOTUS. When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. Left, right, center, everyone serves somebody, and these days it aint us.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989291)

I dunno, I'd say Obama is more powerful than Roberts overall. The Supreme Court can occasionally overrule the President, but on most days the President has a lot more influence. Roberts ain't got no drones.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (1)

RenderSeven (938535) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989839)

Roberts ain't got no drones.

Touche

Roberts is a Drone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40993521)

Roberts also doesn't believe in overriding the POUTS or Con-gress. So in a manner of speaking he is in fact a drone.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40990553)

No, he's the president. The highest position in the executive branch.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988291)

> I doubt there's 18 million people that interested in him.

Really? You dont think that as a leader of the country of 350 million people... and the most internationally well know country on a planet of 4 billion people... that 18 million of them would follow him on twitter? I cant really think of any other individual who would be likely to have more followers than him.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (1)

byteherder (722785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988359)

Justin Bieber

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988367)

...and the most internationally well know country on a planet of 4 billion people...

7.

There are 7(+) billion living humans on Earth.

Otherwise, spot on.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (-1, Flamebait)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988415)

Parent was implying that negros and dirty yellow slanteyes aren't people.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (0)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988663)

I'm pretty sure that the latter in your statement is 1/2 of the Earth's population, so the math would not work.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988933)

Forget to click the anonymous button you racist piece of trash?

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988555)

...and the most internationally well know country on a planet of 4 billion people...

7.

There are 7(+) billion living humans on Earth.

Otherwise, spot on.

Only 4 billion of them own cellphones the other 3 billion don't count in an article like this.

No, I'm not making this up, there really are 4 billion world wide cell phone owners. Do not confuse this with total subscriber numbers as there are plenty of people with more than one account. There are (insane as it sounds) almost exactly the same number of cell phone company accounts/active devices as human beings.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988677)

A) Was specifically responding to AC post, not the summary; AC claimed 4 billion total human population (no caveat specifying ownership of particular technology).

B) 4 billion cell phones owners != 4 billion unique owners. I own at least 3 smart phones myself.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988595)

Only at most 4 billion (and change) have an IPv4 address, though, and I can prove that.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (1)

rthille (8526) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989255)

Not true. Many have the same IPv4 address!

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40991113)

good point

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (1)

kwark (512736) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989761)

Please do.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988639)

While your point has some merit, you are obviously about two decades behind on the Earth's population. You are off by nearly 3 billion people.

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988423)

I doubt there's 18 million people that interested in him.

In him, sure, more than 18 million are probably objectively interested in him. Interested in his spammy twitter feed? Have you seen that thing? Good lord no. Most of those 18 million have to be zombie accounts which haven't been logged into for years or purchased accounts.

https://twitter.com/BarackObama [twitter.com]

""20% of Iowa’s electricity now comes from wind, powering our homes and our businesses in a way that’s clean and renewable."—President Obama"

"Summer sale: Pick up a tank top for 25% off with the code VOTEOBAMA: http://ofa.bo/UhQJeo [ofa.bo] "

A feed with important stuff to say, sure, I could see that. Now one post a day, sure. But a spam drivel deluge every 30 minutes all day every day? Who would want to be constantly interrupted with a spam stream like that?

Re:Partisan Politics, again.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40989639)

Hate to break it to you but you are the one being partisan. The mention of Romney's followers was in the context that they were in fact real. That they could be used as a pool to get real twitter fodder from to be used when fake accounts tweet.

To what end? (4, Interesting)

pudding7 (584715) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988247)

Is the sole purpose of doing this to make an entity seem more popular on Twitter than they really are? Assuming so, what is the tangible benefit of doing that? Does Mitt Romney win the election if he has more (albiet fake) Twitter followers?

Re:To what end? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988315)

From the second link in the summary, first paragraph:

Some people do it just out of simple competition, essentially throwing their money away so they can boast more Twitter followers than their friends. Others do it to boost their corporate profiles, while even more high-profile cases have led to better reputations in the world of online clout, and thus job opportunities and advertising revenue.

Re:To what end? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988349)

well.

first. get a job at stupidfirm CDEF as social media expert. tie your bonus with twitter/fb followers. buy spam followers, cash in the bonus.

It's like SEO (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988437)

Just like SEO, this is for managers who were given an arbitrary popularity metric to follow rather than being told to create good content people actually wanted to read.

Re:To what end? (5, Insightful)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988467)

Assuming so, what is the tangible benefit of doing that? Does Mitt Romney win the election if he has more (albiet fake) Twitter followers?

Many voters, probably most, are too apathetic to bother evaluating candidates on their merits. Instead they extrapolate those merits from things like poll numbers and other horse race indicators. "Well, if that many people follow Romney on Twitter, he must be legit." "Well if more people favor Romeny over Obama in this or that completely unscientific and opaquely evaluated popularity contest, he must be the better candidate!"

Its true that only an idiot would use a candidate's number of Twitter followers to make their choice in a political election. Which is exactly why this is a potential problem.

lack of info breeds apathy (3, Interesting)

manaway (53637) | more than 2 years ago | (#40992221)

Many voters, probably most, are too apathetic to bother evaluating candidates on their merits. Instead they extrapolate those merits from things like poll numbers and other horse race indicators.

Let's put a twist on this. What if instead of "apathy" we switch in "availability." If you watch US corporate news or read (almost) any newspaper, you'll only find what you mentioned: poll numbers from biased surveys, Twitter sound-bites, pretty pictures of candidates in their shirt sleeves. That's all a voter has to go on unless they do their own research. Which is time consuming even for those who excel at analysis.

Quick, where do you go to critique a voting record, review the original bill, find out what was crammed in at the last minute, and figure out why a politician voted as they did? When you go to the source you'll find volumes of data. There's 6 hours gone, though with some small but significant knowledge digested. There's a lot of analysis on the Internet, some that's really excellent, but then again you're on a search for good info with a lot of effort dedicated to filtering the various biases. So to save time you start to look for a few analysts to trust, maybe one that other people have found, one that's popular. And you're back where you started, voting with a crowd.

One of propaganda's methods is the bandwagon effect [wikipedia.org] , and these fake Twitter accounts use the technique because it has a history of working.

Re:To what end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40993121)

Conveying Mesh Belt [u-conveyor.com]

Re:To what end? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988491)

If Ron Paul has 88 million twitter followers and Mitt Romney has 7, obviously nobody cares about Romney. That means Paul will probably smash the next election, it's not worth voting for Romney because he's got less of a following and is going to be marginalized.

In real life, plenty of people consider a vote for a third party to be a wasted vote. They want their vote to "count", which i don't understand. I don't even vote because the people who are up in front of me aren't of my interests; my vote won't count in any way relevant to me anyway. If your votes were between a child rapist who is likely to get about 48%-54%, an opportunistic middle school teacher boning 13 year olds who is likely to get 47-55%, and an upstanding and educated man with real economics ideals who is likely to get 7%, who do you vote for?

The common mentality is to pick either of the first two that you like more (perhaps, more, the second one, for being guilty of a lesser crime), because the guy you actually like is just a wasted vote and throwing your vote away is foolish. Increasing the perception that you can win is thus extremely significant, more so than actual political views or whether or not you're a convicted pederast.

Re:To what end? (1)

neminem (561346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988747)

"Who do you vote for?" Nobody, cause it's not worth bothering? Seems pretty obvious.

Anyway, as far as I can tell, politicians are all crazy, just in different ways, and all crooked, just in different ways, so I might as well vote for a guy who only sucks a bit and might win, as opposed to a guy who sucks slightly less, but still sucks, and won't win.

Re:To what end? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40995507)

You and a huge number of people. Instead of Romney 37% Obama 39% Paul 24% we get Romney 48% Obama 51% Paul 1% because you would rather vote in some crack than someone who's halfway decent. Could you imagine if the third party got a viable vote? Politicians might have to stop banking on Republicans voting for Republicans and Democrats voting for Democrats, and instead try to pretend to be a candidate that people actually want. But all the people like you are preventing that; you're preventing competition in the market place, helping the monopoly parties keep control while providing worse and worse products and service.

Re:To what end? (1)

Ziggitz (2637281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988819)

Because one can use the illusion of popularity to spark interest from actual twitter users. From there spread the same information you do through campaign ads and hopefully it has a not insignificant impact. Given how much Republicans are spending per voter in these elections it's probably as cost efficient for them once other ad markets are saturated.

Re:To what end? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989423)

...it's probably as cost efficient for them once other ad markets are saturated.

Saturated by the ads the Democrats are spending tons of money buying, you mean?

You seem to think political spending is being done by just one side here, and imply that there's something wrong with it, too.

Re:To what end? (2)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989523)

Each of the fake accounts can be programmed to "retweet" the account they're following, and as even fake accounts will develop followers of their own (some of them will even be real people), so the reach of the original message is increased.

There's a second effect - one way to get more followers is to follow people, there's a vague moral "obligation" to follow people who follow you, so following 10k people might net you 2k followers in return. To stop this kind of spam-style following Twitter limit you to a certain number of follows based on the number who follow you already. Fake followers will increase the number of real people you can follow in a roughly proportional manner, netting you real eyeballs as a result.

Re:To what end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40991783)

Is the sole purpose of doing this to make an entity seem more popular on Twitter than they really are?

Assuming so, what is the tangible benefit of doing that? Does Mitt Romney win the election if he has more (albiet fake) Twitter followers?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compliance_(psychology)

Paid Twitter Followers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988249)

I'm confused. Who in the world gives one flying frak how many Twitter followers someone has much less spending money for fake ones. That's like organizing a speech in a stadium to only fill the seats with stuffed mannequins... then proceeding to do the speech anyway.

Re:Paid Twitter Followers (5, Insightful)

tattood (855883) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988461)

That's like organizing a speech in a stadium to only fill the seats with stuffed mannequins... then proceeding to do the speech anyway.

And then taking a picture from high above in a blimp and putting it in the paper with the headline about the speech given to a full stadium. The public doesn't know that the audience is fake, but it sure looks good for the speaker.

Re:Paid Twitter Followers (2)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#40990183)

In some cases, I'm sure that the actual account-holder thinks it's a good idea to add followers because then people will think he/she is important enough to follow. And I'm sure, to some degree, it works. Whether it's worth it or not is a secondary question.

In other cases, such as the alleged purchase of followers by the Romney campaign, I'm sure it went instead something like this:
Campaign Social Media Adviser: We need to leverage social media.
Campaign Manager: He's right! We need to harness the power of the Internet!
Romney: Yes, let's use the complex series of tubes to get the message out! Make it so.
Campaign Manager: Make it so!
Social Media Adviser: Uh, it takes more than "make it so" to make it so.
Campaign Manager: MAKE IT SO! Get me followers or lose your job!
Social Media Adviser: Gotcha! (purchases followers, keeps job for now)

Is it me (2)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988267)

Does this sound like a science fiction story? thousands of internet profiles developed by computers using hijacked accounts manipulating the masses for money in a grand Machiavellian scheme

Here's an interesting account shop (4, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988275)

It's not just Twitter that has issues with paid-for accounts. Many sites do. You can see prices from one large seller here [buyaccs.com] . I work on Gmail signup abuse (amongst other things) and am quite proud of the price of Gmails on there.

Re:Here's an interesting account shop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988371)

I work on Gmail signup abuse (amongst other things) and am quite proud of the price of Gmails on there.

As in, you work on preventing the abuse, and are proud that the relatively high price is indicative of how effective you are at stopping the slimeballs? Or are you one of the abusers who is proud of the high price because you tie your self-worth to the financial value of your product?

Re:Here's an interesting account shop (2)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988581)

I suspect the first......

But it could be both. If he's in charge of stopping fake accounts.....and he really good at it.....and he knows how to circumvent it......he could have near exclusivity on the supply. (You can put it in the 1. 2. 3. Profit model if you want.)

Re:Here's an interesting account shop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40989505)

Don't be too proud of yourself. Those are over inflated prices and you can get them at a fraction of the cost else where for roughly $10 per thousand. Hell, I can make them by the thousands with no issue if I wanted too and that includes phone verifying each one. The only thing phone verification did was stop stupid people.

Re:Here's an interesting account shop (3, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989727)

Please do point me towards shops that are selling accounts for $10 per thousand. I'd very much like to see them. Occams razor says either you're wrong, or these vendors are very well hidden, otherwise all the other shops that sell for 10x that would have no business at all.

Someone must be getting ready to sell something. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988303)

I smell a sales pitch coming on. I've seen many of these stories cropping up in the last few days.

Either the collective awareness of the Internet has suddenly focused itself on this problem... or well-paid PR companies are doing their job.

Re:Someone must be getting ready to sell something (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988501)

You underestimate how lazy journalists are. If they see someone has written a new article, they blatantly copy it. Half the work has been done already. If they see a bunch of articles on the same topic, then it must be trending & of interest, so they copy it to jump onto the band wagon.

This happened with a friend of mine in grad school. She literally studied watching grass grow. The most boring thing in the world. Someone did an original article on her & her work. When it ran the next month, she got phone calls for weeks from other journalists asking her questions and running stories on her. I think in total, she had 6 or 7 articles and one radio interview. About watching grass grow. She also got the odd request for about 6 months after that.

Re:Someone must be getting ready to sell something (1)

vpness (921181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988885)

baracuda is getting ready to sell reputations of your followers ? :) spam blocking, having been commoditized years ago, the security folks need to move on to something 'in'

Sounds like a cell phone plan (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988307)

the average dealer has the capacity to control as many as 150,000 followers at a time, sometimes more. Those who can control 20,000 fake accounts and can attract sales of $20 or more — the going rate is 1,000 followers for a minimum of $18 — stand to earn roughly $800 per day,

Throw in some "unlimited" and some "caps" and it sounds like a cellphone confuseopoly plan. Break it down simple for a fool like me... Lets look at the market. Say you're 18 and hired as the "social media director" at your F500 megacorp for $250K/yr and your key performance indicator is gaining 1000 twitter followers per month. That means you'll have to whip out your personal credit card for... What, $18 every month, or $18 for every 1000 PER month, or $20 for 20 kiloaccounts or what?

So... twitter is basically a "service" where fake media personalities have their PR agent write fake posts for fake followers to read, because it makes money, huh?

Re:Sounds like a cell phone plan (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988443)

So... twitter is basically a "service" where fake media personalities have their PR agent write fake posts for fake followers to read, because it makes money, huh?

Marketing calls that, "Adding value"

Even under semi-manual labor this is possible (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988309)

If you were to outsource some specific portions of the process to third world sweatshops, you would still be able to remain profitable under those margins, and do so without having to constantly update your algorithms to defeat the platform's bot detection. Efficiency!

Re:Even under semi-manual labor this is possible (1)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989233)

Hmm, now what we need is a service that sells sweatshop services, with emphasis on features like age and technological ability of the workers ...

TwitterAudit built to audit Twitter fraudsters! (5, Interesting)

aveng0 (590814) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988413)

As a side project I built TwitterAudit (which is under a lot of load right now and runs on a 512mb VPS :) to estimate how many followers are real vs how many are fake. It looks at a sample of 5000 followers and about 5 criteria to guess whether a given user is real or fake... check it out!

Twitter? (0)

aliquis (678370) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988435)

How exciting.

Stuff that matters. Not any more.

Re:Twitter? (1)

zlives (2009072) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988529)

i kinda wondered who does it actually matter to? then i remembered the dot com bubble... some people never learn.

Silly question (2)

mwfischer (1919758) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988589)

Hi friends. I present a question.

Who the fuck cares how many Twitter followers a said person has? Is this the new e-penis? I assume it has to do with spam and advertising somehow (exposure hits) but in all, it sounds silly.

Re:Silly question (1)

bhlowe (1803290) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988807)

Herd mentality: People want to join popular groups--to get in on what is perceived as a good group. Nobody wants to join a group with a paltry number of members.

Re:Silly question (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989965)

Is this the new e-penis?

You must be new here!

As a former Blackhat SEO, I can say... (5, Interesting)

ilikenwf (1139495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40988627)

...unless you're in on this sort of thing early, you usually can't really profit much from it. You can profit, and waste time, but it's better to find the next frontier rather than jumping on the bandwagon.

I know some guys who do this sort of thing and they always end up using a combination of outsourced labor and automated posters, and it's really not that hard to do. XRumer usually does a decent job at this sort of thing, amongst others. The thing is, they were in on it early, before twitter even became a thing in the mainstream.

Really, though, aside from just selling followers to people and generating a bit of ad revenue or whatever, this is probably less profitable than splogging and having cloaking pages take non-spider visitors to your sales pages... From there you just spam links...though Penguin made that a bit more difficult. Either way, this type of marketing suffers diminishing returns faster than anything I've ever worked with, otherwise, I'd be spamming twitter right now.

Cool! Can the same thing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988829)

Do you think the same type of activities are targeting Amazon, eBay, FaceBook or Google?

Controlling online perception of preference and/or demand has to be as lucrative and powerful as conventional radio, TV or newspaper advertising used to be, especially since they all go hand-in-glove these days. And if it made Google 'worth' bazillions, it's gotta be worth gaming, right?

Whither goest mine eyeballs goest those who seek to pull the wool over them.

Economics of twitter at all? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40988839)

Yahoo is viewed as a failing company, and it makes over $300,000USD per employee. Twitter on the other hand makes $100,000USD. The metric I always hear is that a person costs the company 2x their salary.

Can we be done with twitter yet? I mistakingly used it for a service at my work, and the site is simply too unreliable to be trusted. Twitter's CEO must be sitting fat and happy, but it seems like a very silly company with no purpose.

Wait, What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40989043)

They are going to go to the 800,000 fake followers of Romney and grab the already fake picture and bio information - from the accounts that have never made a "tweet" - and salvage that to use for more fake accounts? Why don't they grab the info from actual real, working accounts instead? Wouldn't that be more convincing than continually cloning purchased crap accounts? Or did they find that there are actually only about 100 real working accounts on the whole "Twitterverse"?

Facts change with each posting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40989067)

FTFA: "the going rate is 1,000 followers for a minimum of $18"

I don't know about that. I checked eBay and I can get "20,000 Twitter followers [48 hours]". Check it out for yourself. ebay.com

Also, the original article: "A Dealer can earn as much as $800/day" becomes "earn roughly $800 per day".

Having noted that I think Romney is the worst possible thing for this country and will, if elected, be 10 times worst than Hitler and Stalin and Sarah Palin.

Re:Facts change with each posting (1)

Sketchly (1354369) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989219)

Worse than Hitler and Stalin, maybe. But no-one could be worse than Sarah Palin, surely?

Re:Facts change with each posting (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#40989627)

The most frightening words you might hear "This afternoon, President Palin announced..." :(

BuySellAds has paid tweets (1)

hackertarget (1265522) | more than 2 years ago | (#40990961)

On BuySellAds you can pay up to a few hundred dollars for a paid tweet. However, some of the sites that appear to have thousands of followers have little traffic. No doubt there is one or two sites on there with fake followers offering Paid tweets.

This is not BSA problem really, but I would recommend being mindful and researching the site in question before coughing up the dollars.

Another partisan hit piece (1)

dtmancom (925636) | more than 2 years ago | (#40991257)

As soon as I saw the headline, I knew I would read "Romney" in the summary. Keep the narrative alive, soldiers.

Re:Another partisan hit piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40992219)

In fairness, it wasn't saying Romney has fake followers, just using him as an example of an account with lots of followers.

In fairness also, it was probably a biased jab, just a subtle one. There were more than one post in this thread that implied the reader got the impression the summary was saying Romney had fake followers... so it was slightly effective.

Astonishing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40993005)

From the post, " the average dealer has the capacity to control as many as 150,000 followers at a time."

Wonderful!

Now, pray tell, does the 'dealer' have the capacity to kill the 150,000 followers within 60 seconds?

Prying Minds Want To Know!

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