Dear People Who Game Twitter For Followers: It’s Over.

This dude used software to get 84539 followers on Twitter. Today, he tortures all of his followers with links to lolcats.

This dude used software to get 84539 followers on Twitter. Today, he tortures all of his followers with links to lolcats.

Twitter’s a funny thing.

In one way, it’s opened up an almost-limitless medium for conversation. Twitter has flowed information freely across borders, languages, cultural barriers. It has brokered political revolution. Evoked social change.

And in another way, it’s a popularity contest.

Look, I’ve lost every popularity contest I’ve been in.

I ran for assistant treasurer of my student body government in high school. Assistant. Basically, that meant I did nothing. I guess if the Treasurer died, this nerdy kid named Jeff Rogers who wore massive rapist glasses, I would step in and ‘balance the sheets’. Meanwhile, I sucked at accounting so I doubt I’d be balancing anything.

GAAP? Like anyone knew what that meant.

It just seemed like the only job I could win.

The year I ran for it, this kid who spoke fractured English ran against me. His name was Jagajagajeevan. He was from Sri Lanka. Jagajagajeevan told us to call him Jugs. Really? Because there’s no way I’m calling a dude Jugs.

He came to the country three months before. I doubt he knew he was even running for assistant treasurer.

He won by a landslide.

This post is dedicated to the fat awkward boy who cried for three days after losing to a dude who didn’t know he was running.

This one’s for fat-me.

Twitter now.

Twitter is inherently based on a follower count. You follow people, people follow you. A decent number of followers is about 50-100. Yet some people on Twitter have 60-90 thousand.

Thousand!

Are these individuals celebrities? Have they made such monumental marks on society that thousands of people want access to their mind?

No. Most are Realtors from Florida. Self-proclaimed experts in social media, SEO, marketing.

In other words, nerdy douchebags.

Twitter has announced that they will be going after these individuals and deem their accounts spam. These individuals game the system by using scripts, software that follow thousands of people a day and unfollow anyone who doesn’t follow them back. It’s a grey-technique called churning followers. So that dude who’s a Realtor from Florida? The dude who has 3 videos on YouTube and calls himself an “SEO maven”? That 64 yr old grandma from Utah who says she’s a social media expert because she has 30 thousand followers?

All done by software.

Look, I’m not going to tell you how to do twitter right. Because you know I hate when people use that term. But if you’re using software to increase your following, then you’re a robot.

Not real.

What will you do if Twitter cleanses itself of the individuals that have inflated their following by using software? These are the individuals that gave you the most material to make fun of.

I know, right? Shit. I’ll have to rip on avatars I guess. I’d have to actually try and be creative.

Do you think this article will piss of individuals who are friendly to you on Twitter that have enormous followings?

No, because it doesn’t apply to them. The individuals that I secretly DM on Twitter to RT my stuff actually add value. Think about it. A lot of you reading this have come through their ranks, which means they’re tweeting value.

Tremendous News? Super value.

I’m talking about the people who have 60 000 followers but also follow 60 000 people and add no value. They’re never RTed. Rarely recommended by others. Just vapid holes of nothingness that try to pass themselves off as authorities on an issue even though they’re not.

Those are the people I’m talking about.

Do you realize that this article will probably be laced with comments from those robotic individuals with hurtful arguments attacking you as a person?

Yes.

And I can’t wait.

As long as none of them are from a dude named Jugs.

————–

I don’t use scripts to grow my followers.  I just take it one hurtful, emotionally-shattering follower at a time.  Be the next one here!

  • Anonymous

    greatly entertaining as usual…. and love the pic of your dad!

  • Jugs

    Mother. Fucker.

  • Hopefully that will scare away some spammers. I have to agree I rather have a followers ratio around 50-100 whose updates I’ll be reading, RT, and gaining knowledge than a thousand trying to get me to sign up to be a SEO expert or gain thousand of dollars in a few days.

  • Thank you very much my old friend. Most enjoyable indeed. Have you lost some weight?

  • I loved this. So then I am not rude for not following back people who I find are real estate salesman, social media experts, and especially those who are already following a zillion people already…I feel better….

  • will they also get rid of those celebrities who don’t follow anyone but attract 100s of thousands of followers and they do nothing to add to the social media?

  • will they also get rid of those celebrities who don’t follow anyone but attract 100s of thousands of followers and they do nothing to add to the social media?

  • Right on target. Dead on. Let’s hope it really happens.

  • Should we recommend a new metric to measure the Twitter success? All people use that s*ck tactic just gain spammers and in fact, none of them retweet their tweets.

    I beleive a successful tweep is the guy have many retweets, and replies when he ask his followers something.

  • There is a mob of spam Robots
    Lining up at the Detroit/Windsor tunnel
    Looking to get into Canada
    To pay some dude a visit…

    Vats of Tar
    Lots of pillows
    I don’t think they are there to have a pillow fight

    You might want to book to Halifax for the week
    And avoid
    the Ugliness

    You did see Carnivale on HBO
    Tar & feathering
    Doesn’t go well…

  • I currently follow 73 people and have 131 followers. Of those 58 (131-73), probably 50 are bots and the other 8 are people who fill their tweet stream with blip.fm announcements. Mostly of music I don’t like.

    Nice post, Jugs-hater!

  • Heh. I just tweeted about having 100 ORGANIC followers. Wait! Did I use the right adjective?

    @GLHancock

  • Unfortunately for all us twitterholics its all about spam nowadays. I get hundreds of messages each day and its all spam. I wish there is a crack down on these guys soon

  • Bihag

    This post – 4/10
    First Comment – 8/10
    Second Comment – ROTFL

  • Lisa

    I totally share the frustration with spammers. But like with everything else there is a good way to use the tools and a bad way (think of a Knife or a gun – and how it could be used); Size of the followers matters. Quality of the followers matters more. One sided approach sounds a bit sophomoric. I unfollow those who don’t follow me for a week manually just because I like 2 way streets. What’s wrong with that? I’d love a good tool to do it.

  • I am looking forward to the crackdown, I get messages every day from new people following me and I know they are automatically finding me because I don’t try to get followers.

    Now if Twitter could put a ban in place so people cannot tweet the SAME message every single day (not retweets, the same sales pitch) – sometimes twice a day. Until then I guess I’ll keep weeding them out by unfollowing them, even if they do post good stuff the rest of the time.

  • Thank you, well done!

  • All of this would be solved if twitter simply stopped displaying follower and followee counts. Also, I don’t care how many total tweets anyone has ever tweeted. If you’re going to give me a number there, Twitter, how about showing me average tweets per day. A much more useful Thing to Know.

  • brilliant.
    enjoy it very much.
    “That 64 yr old grandma from Utah who says she’s a social media expert because she has 30 thousand followers? All robots”
    BG

  • I love your reverse psychology marketing gimmick in your article, “No, because it doesn’t apply to them. The individuals that I secretly DM on Twitter to RT my stuff actually add value. Think about it. A lot of you reading this have come through their ranks, which means they’re tweeting value.”

    It would hint at the fact that if someone were not to RT your article from your super secret DM that they are not providing value. LOL. I seriously loved it. 🙂

    I am RTing this not because of your marketing ploy but because the article is well done, is an expose (I love those) and speaks a lot of truth. Nice job!

  • lol, this was definitely a laugh to read.

    But thanks for sharing and most of all — very well said 🙂

  • Once again, a “Tremendousy Newsy” post! 😉

    The topic of the Twitter follower frenzy has been the hardest single part of my book, “Twitter for Business: Twitter for Friends” for me to write. Whether it is popular or not, I still believe in relationships, and valuing quality over quantity. Fortunately, the real numbers back up my view.

  • Ozjimbob

    LOL Mark Aaron murmahan, clearly it hasn’t occured to you that people who write books with names like that fit well into the “douche” category. If you need to read a book to use Twitter, you’re doing it wrong. What’s your real job? 🙂

  • Tony V

    Actually, I don’t really care – I follow everyone back but seldom read their tweets. Just a courtesy thang…People were behaving like robots long before twitter came along.
    Like most people, I primarily use twitter only for the opportunity to talk to myself in public without the worry of being institutionalized or mugged.

  • Dear Ozjimbob:

    If you had any idea the way I use Twitter and social media, you would not be so critical of my book. Many people want to see a value in Twitter, which is what I attempt to show. The best value is in reaching out for ideas, listening to others, and making friendly relationships. Not unlike this blog post, I attempt to reach others to share ideas and have a greater understanding and appreciation for those around me, whether they share the same views or not. This is social media.

    Many people who use Twitter fall into the idea that a great many followers will be a benefit, but I have proof that the follower frenzy does not lead to better communication. I find it troubling when people lose touch with those they genuinely like, only because they lose that friend somewhere in the many “friends” they make. Learning how to use Twitter more efficiently and how to actually hear what people say is something I try to explain in the book.

    What say you, Ozjimbob? I am all ears. Reach me any time at my direct line, 866-293-2489 (Toll Free USA), Skype name “murnahan” or by Twitter at “@murnahan” (http://twitter.com/murnahan).

    Best,

    Mark Aaron Murnahan

  • By the way … I forgot to mention my real job, because that is not why I am here. Most people, and I mean 99%+, would never be a candidate for my services. Thus, I did not find it important to advertise on my friend’s blog. My job relates to social media, but the douche part is left out. I will never pour on the bullshit perfume to sell you anything, and I will not tell you I like you if I do not. 😉

  • As usual I love the way you pointed out the facts. Well most people will disagree but the real personalities wont. Thanks Murnahan for his comments, always insightful 🙂

  • owen johnson

    great post!!!

  • Great post, but I have to point out that Twitter hasn’t “announced” anything. If they had, it would be on their blog, which it’s not. The post your link to (which I read yesterday) is based on one, tiny snippet of conversation with one individual at Twitter and announces no plan of action; in fact, no actionable items at all.

    It would be great if Twitter was going to “fix itself” as you’ve described, but until I read it in the blog, I’m not taking any chances.

  • I love getting a DM from those jackasses telling me that they’re dying to share the secret to getting more followers in 140 character or less. That right there earns them an instant un-follow if I’ve made the mistake of following them.

    However, what bugs me more than those robo-followers (who just end up un-following you after a week anyway) are those Twatterers who have tens of thousands of followers yet who deign to follow like 6 people back.

    I hate those douchebags.

    Sorry, my mouth’s a wee bit filthy today. :O

  • Hernan Valencia

    Man, the first thing I thought about when i finished reading your hilarious post was to reply under the ‘jugs’ handle. LOL guess I’m not that original. Love your stuff man. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone you ask me to RT your blog posts.

  • As usual satire at it’s best.
    btw, the check was NOT ‘in the mail’ so I’m not going to RT your posts until you pay up. Business is business. 😛

  • bellekaye

    Bihag Says:
    This post – 4/10
    First Comment – 8/10
    Second Comment – ROTFL

    Wow, first time my comments have been rated, 8/10 – I can live with that 🙂

  • theusual

    Gamers blow goats…

  • whats a lolcat and whats the software

  • whats a lolcat and whats the software