Fake Following on Twitter: Who fake follows you?

So by now you must have heard about the concept of fake following on Twitter, everybody did, but you might be wondering when you purchase fake followers, who are they? Are they real people paid to fake follow you? Or are they dummy Twitter accounts that are inactive and created for the sole purpose of faking your numbers?

The answer is that it might be a mix of both, depending on the techniques used by the seller which you are buying fake Twitter followers from.

The most common technique as we briefly explained in our article Fake Fame Online: How it all started, is to create thousands of dummy Twitter accounts and upload dummy photos as profile pictures. All you need is an email address to register as a new Twitter user. All this sound easier said than done, because no one would have the time to register thousands of Twitter accounts manually… imagine if a seller of fake popularity want to sell 1 Million Fake Followers to a Celebrity such as Justin Bieber? Manually creating 1 000 000 accounts would be a very very time consuming task. Not to mention that the seller would also need a different email address associated to these 1 million accounts, that means 1 million email addresses, and some email providers ask for phone verifications and captchas solving….. this task would take months to do manually.

Here comes the magic word: automation. Some computer geniuses out there are able to program scripts to automate actions on the internet and on social media platforms and networks. They use these scripts to create thousands of Twitter accounts, so they can then resell those accounts to other people who want to sell fake Twitter Followers to their customers.

A quick Google search for terms such as “Buy Twitter accounts” brings us to sites that sell dummy accounts that they created for an average price of 20$ per 1000 accounts. Considering that the ongoing price for 100 fake twitter followers is about $20, those sellers would only need to make 1 sales to pay back their investment, and they can re-use those same 1000 accounts thousands of times to follow all their customers’ Twitter pages.

A less popular alternative technique is to use use clickjacking to make real Twitter users follow some pages without them realizing it.The concept is to hide an html link under an image of some kind (sometimes done through low-cost advertisment), and everytime people click this link, instead of being redirected to the page where they were wanting to visit, this click links back to a ‘Twitter follow’ button of some of the seller’s customers’ pages.

Many people get fake Twitter Followers from sellers online that sell these for more money, as they are technically ‘real people following you’. This is of course unethical, as these real people aren’t aware that they are following you, and about 10% of them actually realize that their account has been manipulated and will often un-follow your Twitter Page, resulting in a drop of followers after you paid the seller for the delivery.

As you can see, the first technique of fake following delivery is more inoffensive, harms no one and respect the users privacy. It just increases your numbers and therefore your credibility on Twitter.