Twitter Is A Gateway Drug To Sewing Machines

Twitter Sewing MachineWhat do you make of this? I did a search in TweetDeck for the words “Does anyone”. Scrolling through some results I noticed more than one result that mentioned a sewing machine. Then I realized the tweets were identical. So I did another search for “Does anyone sewing” and came up with dozens of results, all identical. So I went to Twitter.com and ran the search and voilà!

Immediately this smells of some sort of spammer strategy, but none of these tweets are posting links: so what’s the frequency, Kenneth? What is the value of spam without some sort of way to generate revenue?

I did some more searching and came across this blog post on the New York Times’s Bits blog, authored by Nicole Perlroth: Fake Twitter Followers Become Multimillion-Dollar Business

In the article, Perlroth describes a very real–and apparently, lucrative–market for fake Twitter accounts.

The researchers said they approached sellers with positive feedback and found that fake followers were typically sold in packages ranging from $1 to $1,000 for 1,000 to one million accounts. For instance, Fiverr sells 1,000 Twitter followers for $5.

The article also reminded me of the claims, during the 2012 US Presidential campaign, that Mitt Romney’s official Twitter account was alleged to have thousands of “fake” accounts following it, inflating his follower count. (Personally, I suspected that these robot accounts were following him because he was one of them. No one can deny the fact that Romney swept the robot vote.)

So is that what I’m seeing, fake accounts? Can I assume that there’s some sort of software script that’s publishing these tweets, and that all of these budding sewing machine pilots (I don’t know what people that sew are called!) are actually created by a single person or company? If so, Perlroth is right: “In many cases, high-quality false Twitter accounts are nearly impossible to discern from the real thing.”

For example, consider Poster Walker up there. Here’s a quick sample of what following Mr. Walker will grant you access to:

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t showcase his penchant for punnery:

Still, Poster the punster is only following 30 people. None of them appear to be companies or public personalities that would have both, the financial means to pay for followers, as well as the desire to build an online presence. So I don’t know. Maybe average Joes are out there purchasing fake followers. (Are Twitter stats the new rubric by which one grades their e-penis?)

If so, let me know: I’d be happy to follow you on Twitter in exchange for a few bucks. Just promise me that you can sling Internet awesomeness like my new friend @PosterWalker_27.

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Great Moments In American Tweets #1: Chuck Grassley and Iowa’s Hunting “Cson”

I’ve been reading a bit of American history lately, the eloquence of Daniel Webster, the wit of Benjamin Franklin, and the slicing reason of Thomas Paine. I wonder, was everything that our great American historical figures said and wrote something you might want to print, frame, and revere? Did the culture of the time require more of its orators and writers than that of ours today? Or maybe they occasionally lapsed into lazy blurbs and stream-of-conscious musings, as if they inked a quill and lawn-darted it at some parchment across the room. We may never know.

But the good news is, today we have the technology to save the words — all of them — of our great political leaders. 150 years from now, when one of my ancestors looks to the pages of American history for some literary inspiration, that sacred historical record will be there for them…

Thanks to “Great Moments in American Tweets”!

For our first installment, I bring you Iowa’s senior US Senator Chuck Grassley, who just might be one of the most active members of Congress on Twitter.

I hope you enjoyed this “Great Moment in American Tweets”, stay tuned for the next edition, coming soon!

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