So last week I pointed out that several A Voice for Menners, as well as one of #GamerGate’s E-list celebrities, had managed to amass impressive armies of fake Twitter followers — more than 70,000 amongst the four of them. Generally speaking, one does not get that many fake followers unless one literally buy them from the sort of sleazy people who make a living selling fake Twitter followers in order to make oneself appear more popular.
The next day some generous soul bought me well over a thousand fake followers to call my own. When I wrote my post, I had a bit more than 5000 followers. Now I have more than 7000, with most of the new additions obviously fake accounts with Russian names, a tiny handful of spammy Tweets to their credit, and pretty much zero followers of their own. Here are a couple of them:
I can only hope that Марков and Павел — and all my new Russian friends — are enjoying my incisive commentary on the issues of the day.
Whoever came up with the idea of putting three things in a row must be so fucking rich by now.
— David Futrelle (@DavidFutrelle) February 7, 2015
Whoever bought me the followers did the same to
@UnseenPerfidy, one of the Twitter users who ran “Twitter Audits” on AVFMers in the first place, and, a bit more strangely, to feminist writer and activist Jaclyn Friedman, who had merely retweeted a link to my post on the subject.
So who bought us these fake followers, and why? Was it some troll just trying to be annoying? Or was it someone from AVFM, hoping that they could pull off some sort of fake “gotcha” by revealing that Jacklyn, @UnseenPerfidy and I all had fake followers?
The fact that whoever it was targeted Jaclyn as well as me and @UnseenPerfidy makes me think it was likely the latter; of all of the people who retweeted a link to my story, she’s the only one I know of that AVFM has called a “fascist.”
As she put it, after being inundated with a flood of highly suspicious new followers,
So they’re literally buying ME fake followers in order to make some “feminists do it too” argument. Not enough eye rolls in the world.
— Jaclyn Friedman (@jaclynf) February 5, 2015
Originally I was going to go through and block my obviously fake new followers. After blocking about half a dozen of them I discovered that this is a very, very boring way to spend your time.
So I will go back to putting three (or more) things in a row in Candy Crush Soda Saga instead.