Faux Followers

Which Twitter Founder Has the Most Fake Followers?

It's meeeeee. (Photo: Straight From the A)

We wrote about the sketchy world of fake Facebook fans back in May, but the phenomenon is apparently just as rampant and shady on Twitter. To shed some light on the truth about fake Twitter followers, social media management startup Status People developed a tool that studies a sample set of 500 followers to determine what percentage of them are fake, inactive and good.

Fake followers are suspected spam bots; inactive are followers that haven’t tweeted in a while; and good are followers that are actively engaged.

Naturally, our first inclination was to plug in the cofounders of Twitter to see what their percentages looked like. Turns out they have some pretty inflated follower numbers. Read More

Facebook

Like for Sale: Invasion of the Fugazi Facebook Friends

Making friends: Clockwise from left, Kallie Hoots, Maima Hartl, Veta Behrends, Trinidad ransen, Taisha Tryon and Donette Morrency

“The only way to have a friend,” Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “is to be one.”

This was pre-Internet.

These days, friends, fans, followers, likes and other signs of affection are available for purchase, and they’re dirt cheap. On a recent balmy afternoon, we whipped out a credit card and used it to purchase 250 Facebook fans for our tech site, Betabeat, from the Uruguay-based Bulkfans.com. The price? $30. Better, the site guaranteed they were “targeted USA citizens.” We were initially wary of giving this company our credit card number, but the order page linked to a prominent ecommerce site, so we went for it. Read More