San Francisco, California–It’s no secret there are many politicians, celebrities, and athletes with fake Twitter accounts “following” them to increase their clout.
However, now that it’s a publicly traded company, the hundreds of thousands of fictitious accounts are the subject of much discussion–among companies putting real marketing dollars to work through the social channel.
Fake Twitter Accounts a Real Problem
Two names have come to personify such spurious “users” in the latest news: Jim Vidmar and rapper Dave Murrell or Fyrare as the entertainer is known to his fans. Mr. Vidmar operates from the Las Vegas Strip, where he purchased one thousand fabricated accounts from someone in Pakistan on the rapper’s behalf for the bargain basement price of just $58 last month.
An Ongoing Cyber Battle
Just because the social network doesn’t outright verify identities of new users, it has worked to combat mass invented accounts. During 2012 and 2013, for ten months, the site applied new filters to detect and delete faked accounts. Even Mr. Vidmar, well-versed in the trade of phony users, found his creations being ferreted out.
In response the black market quickly adapted, finding the filters flagged accounts with no pictures, incomplete profiles, and little to no activity. The social network continues to do battle with an unseen enemy to protect what now is a public brawl.