From The New York Times, November 19, 2014
Are you certain your 'Likes' on all the social media platforms are human? Or are they robots? And, what you should know when some super salesperson tries to sell you on the number of 'Likes' they can bring to your website.
Bots were on the rise we read some years back but a recent article (January 2018) in the New York Times should give all of us a ‘wake-up’ call about buying popularity.
First, a definition: a bot is an application that will do a task. . . an automated task without the intervention of a human. It’s a web robot. Ever asked a question of Siri on your mobile? Siri is a bot – it will ‘do’ tasks for you – multiple tasks. From here it gets a little complicated, so rather than attempt a feeble explanation, let’s go back to the ‘buying likes’ example.
At first, I assumed buying followers meant promoting my tourism websites to a list of ‘real’ people. And a webguy I know recommended that I buy some to push up my ‘like’ numbers. It somehow felt dishonest, so I dropped the webguy! I'm including some links in this article for your reading pleasure when you can't drop off when your head hits the pillow. SPOILER ALERT: The content may keep the sandman away for hours!
Still this article, ‘The Follower Factory’ in the New York Times, 27 January 2018 is a bit of a shock. New York Times article: The Follower Factory
“Facebook disclosed to investors that it had at least twice as many fake users as it previously estimated, indicating that up to 60 million automated accounts may roam the world’s largest social media platform.”
Back in the day (2014) thousands of these fake accounts, known as bots, were up for purchase for as little as $5. Voila, for five bucks you are popular, but buyer beware: this is a giant pyramid scheme of fake friends and, hang on to your hat, all the platforms Instagram, Vine Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube Facebook are in on the game.
Just a few lines of computer code and your Bot is ready to retweet certain topics. . . follow a tweet or follow anyone who follows them.
Multiple Bots are commonly called ‘Bot Farms’. A farm is yours for the cost of a cup of coffee, writes Nick Bilton in Vanity Fair (2018). Twitter's Dirty Secret If you have time, read the articles. But in the future, don’t ‘go on’ about how many followers you have and when you see a 'Celebrity' with millions of followers, seriously, Question It! Or just read Bilton's article about Twitter, how they manipulate the law and perhaps even us!
Thanks to The New York Times, November 19 2014