New York Attorney General to Investigate Firm That Sells Fake Followers

New York Attorney General to Investigate Firm That Sells Fake Followers

George, over to you.

Social media is pretty complicated. By some calculations, as written in the Times, as many as 48 million, or 15%, of Twitter's reported active users are automated accounts posing as real people.

The New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, on Saturday opened an investigation into a company that sold millions of fake followers on social media platforms, some of them copying real users' personal information.

Keeping a high-flying media career afloat is a constant battle - just ask us at Chicago Inc., where our monthly Champagne bill would make a billionaire blush.

From celebrities, to famous companies, to high profile political figures. But there can be more to some of those loyal followers than meets the eye.

The company at the center of it all has denied all the claims made by the Times' investigation, stressing they have "no knowledge of any such activity".

The micro-blogging site has over 300 million monthly active users and that would mean almost 27 million to 45 million accounts are actually not controlled by humans, according to the study from Indiana University and University of Southern California in the US.

At the time of the New York Times exposé, the company has at least 3.5 million automated accounts - sold over and over again - and has provided customers with over 200 million Twitter followers to date.

In the case of Aiken, he used his fake followers to boost complaints about his new vehicle. "I thought it was going to be influences and people in my field". The cost is pennies for each follower.

The CNN contributor has paid for over 500,000 Twitter followers - although most have been deleted.

"As advertised, the first 10,000 or so looked like real people". If you search for someone on a social media site and you find they've been retweeting graphic adult content or articles about Bitcoin, they might not get the job.

Those who bought Twitter followers from Devumi include a wide range of well-known people, according to the Times, and include Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell, former model turned businesswoman Kathy Ireland, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, singer Clay Aiken, 1980s Brat Pack star Andrew McCartney, and Shark Tank judge Lori Greiner. "We are opening an investigation into Devumi and its apparent sale of bots using stolen identities". Until companies like Twitter no longer have the incentive to keep growing their user base at any cost this is not a problem that will go away any time soon.

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