WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Twitter seems to be the preeminent social network for bringing out the best and worst tendencies in people.
In fact, after a sort of famous comedian copped to purchasing the majority of his followers to the New York Times, many Twitter users were left questioning the legitimacy of their own favorite celebrity follows.
The reality is, outside of paying for them and earning them from the natural clout your name carries, there are lots of ways to fraudulently amass followers. To name a few methods: Hashtags – Follow Friday (#FF), Team Follow Back, Team Justin, Team anything – ripping off breaking news tweets (claiming them as your own), trolling trending topics, etc.
Each of these methods seem to require a certain measure of effort to reap the rewards though, making them almost socially acceptable.
But there’s something that feels inherently wrong about purchasing Twitter followers.
Perhaps it’s the knowledge that the purchaser is actively trying to deceive people. Maybe it’s the depth to which the purchaser is willing to sink to con others that’s most bothersome. Whatever it is, the level of deception feels like the time you learned dad cheated on mom – the real reason they got divorced.
The optimal end result is for you to be fooled and remain none the wiser forever.
Someone rarely kicks off their Twitter obsession with this type of devious practice.
For one, the purchaser would be found out immediately by his/her peers. Two, it usually takes a couple weeks for someone to feel out where they belong in the social media pecking order. For some, the realization that 20,000 people aren’t immediately interested in what they have to say is too much to bare, so they eventually turn to the Twitter equivalent of petty crime.
The early adopters of social mediums tend to get the jump on everyone in these pathetic popularity contests we subscribe to, but do not necessarily establish the hierarchy – as the cream that inevitably rises to the top does.
In the entertainment industry, this seems especially true.
For instance, the leaders in the CBS Radio’s Twitter clubhouse here in DC are as follows: @tommymcfly (28.4k), @ebjunkies (25k), @granthpaulsen (24.4k), @chaddukes (24.3k), @DJFlexxDC (21.4k) and @moneymetalcakes (17.7k).
Also makes sense.
But aside from aesthetic purposes, what’s the real benefit to forging cyber dominance?
The Junkies discussed this on 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday:
“Yea but see, they’re worthless to you.” EB said. “First of all, do you even know are they active accounts? Or are they fake accounts? You only want people to follow you that are somewhat, just even remotely interested in what you might be promoting or pushing. If you just have 250,000 spam accounts, what good does that do you?”
“But the real followers don’t know who the fake followers are and they may be more attracted to you because you have a larger Twitter size,” JP battled back.
“I have some integrity,” Cakes explained why he would never purchase followers.
“I’m about to hit like 25,000. I don’t even know. Where am I?” EB asked.
“Big Time,” unanimous.
“I bet you over fifty percent of mine are spam or fake. Guaranteed!” EB exclaimed. “And they’re worthless to you. Why would you want those? I’d like to get rid of all of them.”
“There’s a guy I know that – he’ll remain nameless – but I’m sure he bought Twitter followers,” Frank Hanrahan said. “Cuz he had like 2,000 one day, the next day he had like 22,000. I go, what the hell is that? No way.”
You can check the validity of Twitter accounts – like we did with our co-workers as we giggled like schoolgirls behind the scenes – for free with the same website the New York Times used to validate comedian Dan Nainan’s claim.
While the website does not tell you specifically if followers were purchased, it will give you a percentage breakdown of how many followers are real (earned), inactive (haven’t tweeted in months), and fake (purchased followers and bots).
If the percentage of fake followers creeps into that 70/80 percent territory, you know something’s up.
And it’s their follower count … because they’re a fraud.
Check your friends out. Check your boss out. Heck, check us out.
Finally, the social media governing body you’ve been seeking has arrived.