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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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Twitter Rolls out Update For iOS Users

Twitter has also considering an edit functionality

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Twitter rolling out updated search tab for iOS users. Pixabay

Twitter is rolling out an update for iOS users in the US where they can see tweets they care about the most in the search tab via new “sections”.

Currently, the Twitter search tab in the iOS app offers a vertically scrolling list of trending topics.

The users can now move horizontally to view the top news and tweets.

“We added sections so it’s easier for you to see the Tweets you care about the most, starting today in the US,” the company tweeted late on Wednesday.

Twitter, India
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

Twitter has also considering an edit functionality.

Its CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey, who is in India this week, said on November 12 that the micro-blogging platform has been considering edit button for quite some time but did not reveal any specific timeline.

Also Read- We Disagree with Apple But Android Use Purely on Merit: Facebook

“A lot of people want the edit button because they want to quickly fix a mistake they made. Like a misspelling or tweeting the wrong URL. That’s a lot more achievable than allowing people to edit any tweet all the way back in time,” Dorsey told the gathering at IIT-Delhi. (IANS)