Of the quarter of a million twitter followers in our Caelus Sustainability Network, 98% are real….
Having a lot of twitter followers can be impressive. It can mean that you are popular, important or a thought-leader. But it can also mean that you are a fraud 🙁 Luckily there is a way to tell the difference.
What is a Fake Follower?
A fake follower is an account that pretends to be a person, but is not. Some people and companies open thousands of twitter accounts using unique email addresses. They give them fake names and sometimes profile pics, a description and a location – but not always. LIKES, FOLLOWS and RETWEETS from these fake accounts are then sold on the ‘grey’ twitter market in order to give the impression a profile or a tweet is popular.
How do you get Fake Followers?
All twitter accounts will accumulate some fake followers along the way. Fake accounts need to follow other accounts in order to build up their own statistics. These are usually the accounts that have strange names with a bunch of numbers in them or don’t have a profile pic. However, the majority of fake followers that appear in twitter accounts are purchased. Simply google ‘fake twitter followers’ and dozens of sites ready to take your money in exchange for 100, 1,000 or 10,000 followers, likes and retweets. It’s kinda funny, but most of these sites actually do follow through and deliver what they are selling.
Any good examples of Twitter Fraud on a massive scale?
Well, actually yes. The President of the United States – Donald Trump. Trump is a great case study of how use twitter fraud to your advantage. Initially, Trump bought thousands of fake followers to give his twitter account apparent credibility (the press bought this hook-line-and-sinker). Then he started to tweet. Dang, he got a lot of re-tweets! Must be a lot of people that agree with him -or- his campaign spent $100 for 7,000 instant re-tweets. The evidence points to the latter. These shady techniques are fairly easy to catch and team Trump didn’t even try to hide it.
How can you identify a fraud?
Unfortunately Twitter does very little (nothing actually) to prevent fake accounts. Luckily you can check an account be going to www.twitteraudit.com. Simple enter the twitter account name and a minute later you will be able to see how many of their followers are real, and how many are fakes.