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Firm Selling Fake Twitter Followers To Be Probed

The NYT report said the company sells fake followers to Twitter users, sometimes using details based on real people

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A recent research found that between nine and 15 percent of active Twitter accounts are autonomous entities known as social bots. Pixabay
A recent research found that between nine and 15 percent of active Twitter accounts are autonomous entities known as social bots. Pixabay
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New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced a probe into digital marketing company called Devumi that is reportedly selling fake followers to Twitter users.

“Impersonation and deception are illegal under New York law. We’re opening an investigation into Devumi and its apparent sale of bots using stolen identities,” Schneiderman tweeted on Sunday.

He was reacting to a New York Times report that claimed Devumi is providing fake followers to social media users.

ALSO READ: Sale or No Sale: As Twitter tries to broaden its appeal to more people, Users are bound to see Changes

On its website, New York-based Devumi claims to “accelerate your social growth by helping you “quickly gain followers, viewers, likes and more” on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and other online platforms “with its blend of marketing tactics”.

The NYT report said the company sells fake followers to Twitter users, sometimes using details based on real people.

“Devumi sells Twitter followers and retweets to celebrities, businesses and anyone who wants to appear more popular or exert influence online,” the report said.

To understand how Devumi works, the NYT itself set up a new Twitter account and spent $225 on 25,000 followers. Pixabay
To understand how Devumi works, the NYT itself set up a new Twitter account and spent $225 on 25,000 followers. Pixabay

“Drawing on an estimated stock of at least 3.5 million automated accounts, each sold many times over, the company has provided customers with more than 200 million Twitter followers,” the report claimed.

“As advertised, the first 10,000 or so looked like real people. They had pictures and full names, hometowns and often authentic-seeming biographies,” the report said.

ALSO READ: Twitter introduces fast and data-friendly ‘Twitter Lite’ in India with Vodafone as its first global launch partner

“The next 15,000 followers from Devumi were more obviously suspect: no profile pictures, and jumbles of letters, numbers and word fragments instead of names,” it added.

A recent research found that between nine and 15 percent of active Twitter accounts are autonomous entities known as social bots.

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

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World Emoji Day: Apple, Facebook, Twitter Celebrate with New Emojis

US-based Internet domain registrar GoDaddy claimed to have seen a growth in visual pun emoji domains and major brands using emoji domains for their webpages

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Twitter has been actively introducing a variety of culture, entertainment, sports and news related emojis that range from iconic symbols to historic signs and motifs of festivals. (IANS)

Apple, Facebook, Twitter and other tech giants celebrated World Emoji Day on Tuesday with declaring most used and favourite emojis, announcement of new ones, acknowledging how emojis make conversataions easy and expressive without words, among others.

Apple announced over 70 new emoji characters with hair colour variations, gender-neutral characters, mythical creatures and more that would reach the users as part of a free update that Apple would bring to iOS 12 later this year, the iPhone maker wrote in a blog post.

Facebook and Messenger shared statistics and revealed that the “heart” emoji is one of the most used expression on the platforms.

“There are more than 2,800 emojis and almost all of them (2,300) are used each and every day on Facebook,” the company said in a statement.

The social networking giant also announced that new emojis, including a camera frame and a themed text feature would soon be part of Facebook and Messenger.

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Facebook and Messenger shared statistics and revealed that the “heart” emoji is one of the most used expression on the platforms. Pixabay

From being used only for creative expression by the millennials, to being Oxford dictionary’s “Word of the year 2015,” emojis are now also being embraced by brands across the globe.

Microblogging site Twitter also released a list of the top ten emojis used on its platform that included the “heart, fire, thumbs up and heart eyes” smileys.

“Keeping in mind the popularity of emojis, Twitter has been actively introducing a variety of culture, entertainment, sports and news related emojis that range from iconic symbols to historic signs and motifs of festivals,” Twitter said.

Also Read: Facebook Joins Skill India Mission to Train Empower youth

US-based Internet domain registrar GoDaddy claimed to have seen a growth in visual pun emoji domains and major brands using emoji domains for their webpages.

“Today, emojis have become an essential part of the online vocabulary. Driven by the rise of mobile internet usage in India, consumers are integrating emojis into their conversations with each other as well as with brands,” said Nikhil Arora, Managing Director and VP, GoDaddy India. (IANS)