The Meaning Of Fake

//Here is how to make headlines for your social media management company
1) Find a topic that's causing traffic these days: let's say… fake twitter follower counts and politicians in an election year
2) Develop a tool that supposedly can identify fake accounts
3) Instant success!

Meet the Status People Fake Follower Check tool You just give it a Twitter handle and it gives you how many "fake" followers it has. But what is a "fake"? The #statuspeople FAQ page explains: [the tool] checks to see how many spam accounts are following you

Ok, first alert right here. "Fake" and "Spam" are different things. Spam bots follow you so that follow them back. It has nothing to do with fake accounts meant to boost your follower count. 

But let's ignore that for a second. What it is the criteria for a "fake" account? The faq page answers: On a very basic level spam accounts tend to have few or no followers and few or no tweets. But in contrast they tend to follow a lot of other accounts

That's the most terrible example of a fake/spam/whatever criteria I could think of.

With that kind of criteria, Facebook has 45% "fake" followers and Obama, depending on when you run the tool has between 30 to 40%…

And thus, without much effort, USA Today, totally ignorant of the world of technology, runs a headline of Obama has millions of fake Twitter followers
They even managed to sum the "fake" and "inactive" counts in order to come up with a "70% fake" number, because 70% sounds better than 30%… 

I forgot the best thing about this tool: it gives a count of 88% "fake" followers for it's creator @statuspeople:-D

Found via +Mike Elgan 

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