Friday, 22 June, 2018

Paul Hollywood deletes Twitter after it's revealed he 'bought followers'

Paul Hollywood deletes Twitter after it's revealed he 'bought followers' Paul Hollywood deletes Twitter after it's revealed he 'bought followers'
Nellie Chapman | 29 January, 2018, 17:09

And to some extent that statement holds true.

In the case of Aiken, he used his fake followers to boost complaints about his new vehicle.

Within the sports field, The New York Times profile identified ESPN's Joey Galloway, MLB player Brandon Phillips, Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell, and former Baltimore Raven/ESPN analyst Ray Lewis as those who have been clients.

New York's chief prosecutor will investigate a company that, according to a New York Times article published on Saturday, sold millions of fake followers on social media accounts to celebrities and others wanting to goose their online presence.

'Impersonation and deception are illegal under NY law. Schneiderman announced - on Twitter, of course - that he and his team will be opening an investigation into Devumi and its practices.

On Saturday, Mr Bryce - who is trying to unseat Republican Paul Ryan in Congress - said, on Twitter, that he bought the followers as an experiment in 2015, when he was a blogger.

On its website, Devumi offers customers the chance to buy up to 500,000 followers for social media sites including Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Vimeo, with prices starting at as little as $12.

It is alleged that others who wanted to increase their follower count, including actors, entrepreneurs and political commentators, could then pay to be followed by the bots.

The Great British Bake Off presenter is one of many well-known figures whose followers on the micro-blogging site were apparently linked to Devumi, a firm now being investigated by the NY state prosecutor.

To understand how Devumi works, the NYT itself set up a new Twitter account and spent $225 on 25,000 followers.

These builders use actual personal data to make bots that seem look real. "They had pictures and full names, hometowns and often authentic-seeming biographies", the report said.

The New York Times found many well-known Twitter accounts have followers from the Devumi "factory". The fraudulent nature of this behavior is a serious concern, especially when it's estimated that 15 percent of Twitter's accounts are phony. The micro-blogging site has over 300 million monthly active users and that would mean almost 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.

In October, Twitter said it had 330 million monthly active users.