Social networks have expanded popularity contests beyond the schoolyard, where users vie to become the next Instagram celebrity or at least have enough followers to be considered an “influencer.”
But, unlike the schoolyard, anyone can buy popularity on social networks. Richard Roeper, film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, was suspended on Tuesday for buying 25,000 followers after a New York Times investigation revealed the practice was widespread.
The New York Times claimed that Roeper and others such as actor John Leguizamo, motivational speaker Eric Kaplan and British baking star Paul Hollywood purchased followers from a website called Devumi, which charges a mere $50 for 5,000 followers.
Buying followers or paying for any type of interaction is against Twitter’s terms of service and may result in suspension. If a company buys more users to make itself seem more popular than it actually is, or a journalist buys them to meet a standard of followers that an employer has set, it’s also, as the Times noted, potentially fraud.
Spotting fake Twitter uses is generally fairly easy, though fakers have gotten better at it over time.
Tools like TwitterAudit can automatically scan your followers, revealing the number of fake followers (for free) and allowing you to delete and block them (for $5 a month). Use Luca Hammer’s Account Analysis tool to look at accounts individually. Consistent daily rhythms and constant retweeting of spammy handles or accounts are a good sign the user is a bot.
The quickest way to manually spot obvious
Read more here: https://www.poynter.org/news/how-tell-if-you-have-fake-twitter-followers-and-how-remove-them