Checking how many friends, twitter followers, or even likes you get is not a new sensation. Prior to that we checked how many hits our website received or how many people signed our guestbook pages. Prior to that when we where back in high school we checked to see how many people we could call friends and would come to our birthday parties.
The need of validating your self by the count of twitter followers, facebook likes, or even so called friends is human nature.
But, many of us don’t value who we are by the number of friends or followers we have. I for one never follow someone simply because they follow me or friend those who friend me that I have never met in real life.
When it comes to my online presence I practice what I practice offline.
Quality of friends over the quantity of friends.
If you made it to my Facebook friends section. That means I am willing to answer a call from you at 3 AM and come help you if you need my help.
So why the background story?
Well I enjoy writing so you got stuck with me writing the background story on what I feel towards the so called twitter and facebook counts.
I recently came across an article written by Amber Mac – BUYING TWITTER FOLLOWERS? BEWARE STATUSPEOPLE, THE SERVICE THAT EXPOSES SOCIAL MEDIA’S BLACK MARKET it talks about the uses of black market services to buy followers and it mention a really nifty tool called Fake Follower Checker by StatusPeople.
So I did what we all do. Just like we all Google our name. I entered my name to see how I will be ranked.
Since I have never cared about the number of followers I would check my followers from time to time and report the ones I considered where bots. The ones with 0 followers or the ones that send out the same spammy tweet with a link to a “Make money scheme”.
I took joy in reporting them with the feeling that I am doing my part and maybe helping the Twitter system in closing such accounts.
(Assuming twitter pro-actively is aggregating all the data and closing the accounts that get reported)
My twitter account has been hovering at 1,500 followers for a while. It goes up and then it goes down. It usually goes down when I report and block those followers who I think are not real twitter users.
So, I was glad to see the Status People app ranked meat only 3 percent fake.
So, the next thing was to look up people who I always questioned their twitter follower count.
I did and to no surprise they ranked in the 80 to 99 percent of having fake followers.
The so called “fakers” and I had in the past had public discussion about the “Quality vs Quantaty” ideologies. They feel it is better to have more eyeballs then quality eyeballs.
But, what they fell to see is that a follower is not really an eyeball to your tweet. Twitter followers is not the same as viewers. A view actially means someone has seen your content. A follower means he will see your tweet if you happen to tweet the moment he is looking at the screen.
This is an argument that neither of us would ever see each others view. So we always agree to disagree.
So, me being me. I sent them a message with the link to their scores
“See your users are 80 percent fake. You still think quantity is better then quality?”.
Some of them understood my humor. While others took offense and appeared to have gotten angry. One went as far a making his account private and blocking me.
So, why am I writing this?
Well I started to notice that I was not getting some of my @replies when using the twitter website and seemed that the Twitter Interaction section (the section that shows you your @mentions and the people who followed you) was not loading. But, clicking just mentions was able to show me all my messages.
This was a weird issue. I went along my day and I left it loading in the background and when I came back I notice a long list of new followers.
I told my self.
“This is odd. I have not made any special TV appearance or participated in the Olypics. I wasn’t even featured in the new issue of Wired Magazine.
Then I really said to my self.
What the “Chingadera” is this? How the heck do I have 11,700 followers?
I was taken back by the amount of followers I now had.
Then I get an e-mail with the subject. I think your quality just went to crap!.
I had to look over my shoulder because the timing was great. I got the e-mail as I had just discovered the crap load of followers.
So, I confirmed what the the e-mail implied. The first few pages new followers met the criteria of fake twitter followers. All of them with 0 tweets and 0 followers.
Many people would be happy to have 3k, 5, or 10k followers. But, followers mean nothing and in this case. I got about 10k of useless followers.
I don’t make my living on my blogs, podcast, or even my content. The irony is that I help others make that transition. I am not trying to become a community manager and try to use my following count as proof on how good I am.
So, while this action by one of the so called Social Media Gurus I must off angered could have been devastating to someone who uses their twitter follower list as a way to secure a job. I welcome this as a badge of honor.
Just like the writer @nero, who in retaliation of outing another so called Social Media Guru started getting fake followers as in retaliation. Infact what happen to @nero inspired the Fake Follower Check tool.
So, I will wear the 100% Faker badger with honor. I guess now have to wait for a “Report / Block Fake Follower Tool” to be developed because to manually block the fake followers will take forever.