15% Twitter Accounts Are Fake

By Xah Lee. Date: .

15% Twitter Accounts Are Fake

15% account on twitter are fake, sold by companies. And, apparently, many celebrities, politicians, actually buy them. Also, twitter of course knew, but don't really do anything about it.

Here's New York Times article.

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twitter fake accounts, NYT 2018-01-27
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[The Follower Factory By Nicholas Confessore, Gabriel J.X Dance, Richard Harris And Mark Hansen. At https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/27/technology/social-media-bots.html ]

(New York Times is often sjw fake news. This article seems a good one.)

the follower usually cost 1 cent each. e.g. 1k followers cost you $10.

apparently, many normal people sans controversy (actors, tv star, olympic athletes, businessmen, politicians, and porn stars), who may already have over 10 thousand followers, still, went out and buy followers.

because number of followers is the number 1 thing we naively judge legitimacy.

apparently, it's severe enough that those public figure people actually depend on number of followers for their career to thrive. e.g. spend few hundred bucks to buy followers to save the tens of thousands bucks you make. (e.g. if you are reporter, or do public relations, or book author, your number of followers helps a lot, as indicator of authority or qualification.)

Number of followers translates to money. If you have lots followers, say 1 million followers, each sponsored tweet gets you $2k or so. Apparently there are quite a lot girls, thriving on social networks (e.g. instagram), making more money than professionals by selling brands.

one of the techniques in creating fake account is that they go thru twitter, suck up profile photos, and color shift the photo a bit (to avoid detection), and use that as the fake account's photo.

CNN's Hilary Rosen @hilaryr is the one who bought the MOST twitter followers in that report. She bought 500k followers few years ago. She currently has 289k follower. (fake accounts drops off over the years) Goto her account, and you can spot fake followers easily.

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